§ MR. EDWARD HARRINGTON (Kerry, W.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, What is the reason an alteration has been made in the time of the payment of sums due to county contractors in Kerry; and, whether there is any objection to revert to the former system of making the payments in November, in place of the following February?
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN)(who replied) (Dublin University)
said: The Secretary to the Grand Jury of the County of Kerry states that county presentments are only payable twice in each year, at the Spring and Summer Assizes; and that it has never been the practice to pay them at any other period. He also says that contractors' salaries have to be approved of at Presentment Sessions held in May and November; but that the Grand Jury at the ensuing Assizes may refuse payment of such a presentment in the case of the contractor's default. It was the practice, however, he states, for the Secretary to the Grand Jury to issue unsigned cheques to those road contractors whose applications had been approved of at the Presentment Sessions, and for the contractors to get such cheques signed by the treasurer, when the presentments for the amounts had been passed by the Grand Jury. The present Secretary, Mr. Fitzgerald, acting on legal advice, has discontinued this 1598 practice, and no longer issues unsigned cheques.
§ MR. EDWARD HARRINGTON
asked, Whether the present Secretary had not held the office for 14 years; and why it was that this year he refused to make the usual payments in May and November?