HC Deb 14 June 1888 vol 327 cc101-2

(for Mr. M'CARTAN) (Down, S.) asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to a Resolution of the Board of Guardians at Ballymena, County Antrim, on the 2nd instant, expressing want of confidence in Colonel Studdert, the Local Government Board auditor, and requesting that another auditor should be sent down there instead; whether Colonel Studdert had publicly certified that the sureties of Relieving Officer Duffin were alive, and whether he had since written to the Board of Guardians on Saturday last to know if these sureties were alive; whether he can state if these sureties are dead or alive; and, if dead, the dates of their deaths, and also the date of the last certificate in which this auditor certified that they were living; whether the Guardians telegraphed to the Local Government Board on Saturday last, calling for a new auditor to be sent down to them; whether a new auditor will be sent there, and if he can give the name of the new auditor; and, whether Colonel Studdert is the same gentleman who audited last year, and for some years past, the accounts of the Belfast Town Council?


The Local Government Board would not be prepared to take so serious a step as the supersession of an auditor upon the vague grounds suggested by the Ballymena Guardians; but they have asked the Guardians to state the specific grounds upon which they base their complaint of careless audit, and they are willing to investigate the matter, if the Guardians are prepared to substantiate their charges. With regard to the case of the Relieving Officer Duffin, it appears that the auditor was misled by false information given to him by the late clerk of the Union (who has become a defaulter), and who reported to him, at successive audits, that the man's sureties were living, notwithstanding that they had been dead for some years. The answer to the last paragraph is, Yes.