§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the presentment of the Tyrone Grand Jury, 1572 at Lent Assizes, 1887, of a charge for £1,712 15s. 3d. for expenses in relation to the preparation of the Revised Register of Voters for the County of Tyrone for 1886–7, including the following items:—To Lewis M. Buchanan, Clerk of the Peace, for expenses incurred. (1.) Nathaniel Carson, as per contract and account furnished, £358 6s. 6d.; Samuel D. Montgomery, for the like, £354 9s. 2d.; Joseph Graham and Son, for the like, £300 6s.; A. J. Matthews, for the like, £4 10s.;—£1,017 11s. 8d., less credit, sale of registers, &c., £114 13s. 5d.—£902 18s. 3d. (2.) For hire of rooms in lieu of courts, as per accounts, £59 17s. (3.) For preparing, arranging, compiling, printing, and publishing the Registers of Parliamentary voters for the four Divisions of the county, £750;whether a similar presentment in Tyrone for 1885–6 amounted to £1,525 3s. 10d., and for 1887–8 to £1,200; whether this expenditure is altogether independent of the law costs thrown on the county for registration appeals; what did the latter amount to in said years; whether all such levies are borne solely by the occupiers; whether, in addition, there fell upon the poor rate further large sums for the initial preparation of these voters' lists by the Boards of Guardians; what did these amount to in said years in Tyrone; how are similar expenses met in England and Scotland; and, would the Government give a Return for the United Kingdom showing, separately, for each county and borough the annual cost of preparing the voters' lists, distinguishing the amount paid for each by the Poor Law and County Authorities?
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN)(who replied) (Dublin University)
said: I am informed that the amounts are substantially as stated in the Question. But the figures for 1885–6 include the expenses under the Ballot and Polling Districts Act. The taxed costs of registration appeals amounted for the years 1885–6, 1886–7, and 1887–8 to £791 in addition. All these levies are borne solely by the county cess. As regards the Poor Law expenses, the boundaries of unions and counties not being conterminous, and the expenses being sanctioned by unions, time has not admitted of ascertaining the exact figures for the County Tyrone; but the expenses paid by the Guardians of the seven unions which are mainly situated in the county 1573 were in 1885–6, £312 13s. 7d.; in 1886–7, £865 13s.; in 1887–8, £863 16s. 2d. I have no information with respect to the paragraph 9. As regards the last paragraph, a comprehensive Return of the payments made by County Authorities in Ireland during each of the years 1884–5 and 1886 was laid before the House last Session (Parliamentary Paper No. 325, 1887). The Local Government Board could also give the expenditure in each union for those years, apportioning it approximately on the counties.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
said, as it was desirable to check what was apparently a very gross expenditure—he would not say a job—namely, nearly £2,000 for the preparation of a Return of about 1,000 pages, or £2 per page, the hon. and learned Gentleman was not giving a Return such as he suggested. Let them see, for example, how much the County of Cork paid.
§ MR. MADDEN
said, the Local Government Board could give approximately the expenditure in those years for the different counties.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
asked, if the hon. and learned Gentleman would have any objection to giving a Return which would afford an opportunity of comparing and considering more closely this expenditure?
§ MR. MADDEN
said, if the hon. Member moved for such a Return, he would see whether it might be granted, or how far it might be agreed to.