HC Deb 13 September 1886 vol 309 cc161-2
MR. P. MCDONALD) (Sligo, N.

asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, Does it appear by the books of Mr. C. H. James, late Official Assignee of the Court of Bankruptcy in Ireland, that he received as per centages in the year 1868 the sum of £3,104, and that he only returned in the Parliamentary Return of that year £2,320; that in the following year he received £3,011, and only returned £2,616, thereby suppressing in the two years £1,189; does it further appear that these suppressions continued undetected down to the date of his dismissal; does it appear that many of the sums and undivided balances of long standing found due by him by the Treasury Remembrancer were suppressed by the said late Official Assignee from the annual Parliamentary Returns; and, were these Returns, as required by the statute, certified to Parliament as being correct by the Chief Registrar of the Court; and, if so, what steps the Government mean to take to render these officers amenable for their conduct?


There was no book kept in the office of Mr. James containing an account of the percentages received by him in the years 1868 and 1869. I am, however, informed that after Mr. James left Ireland his son brought from his father's house, and handed to the principal assistant in the office, a book in which such an account was entered. This, with all the other books in the office, was handed over to the Treasury investigators; but it was not returned by them, and cannot now be found. I am, therefore, unable to answer the first part of the Question. It appears that many of the sums and undivided balances of long standing found by the Treasury Remembrancer to be due by Mr. James were suppressed by him from his annual Parliamentary Returns. These Returns were certified to Parliament by the Chief Registrar; but I am informed that this officer did not conceive that by such certificate he was vouching the accuracy of the Returns, but merely that they were the Returns required to be made by the Statute. This was the view taken long before the present Chief Registrar came into office in 1872, and I am of opinion it is in accordance with the terms of the Act.