§ MR. BLANE (Armagh, S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If the attention of the Local Government Board has been directed to the proceedings of the Admission Committee of the Belfast Board of Guar- 1803 dians, at their meeting on 26th April, 1837, at which Joseph Watt, one of the relieving officers of the Union, was absent without previously obtaining leave from the Guardians; why was the book containing the usual entry of lines issued for the previous week not duly written up and presented for approval; what condition did the workhouse messenger find Watt in when he went to his residence, and was there any Report made to the Local Government Board on the subject; and, is Watt the same person who was formerly Master of the Belfast Workhouse, and who was obliged by the Local Government Board to resign his position, owing to inebriety and and gross irregularities in the management of the workhouse?
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
(who replied) said: Part of this Question was answered yesterday. In reply to the remainder of the Question I have to say that Mr. Watt explained to the Board of Guardians that his absence from the meeting was due to illness, and his failure to enter up his book the previous week was due to the same cause. Mr. Watt's explanation was supported by a medical certificate. The messenger sent to Mr. Watt by the Guardians informed thorn that he seemed to be in a very delicate state of health. Mr. Watt formerly held the office of Master of the Belfast Workhouse, which, however, he resigned upwards of 10 years ago, on receipt by the Guardians of an unfavourable Report in regard to the management and condition of the workhouse, and his resignation did not appear to have been due to any inebriety, as alleged, but to the fact that he was phisically unfit to discharge the duties of the situation.