§ MR. BIGGAR (Cavan, W.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the irregularities in the management of the Belfast Workhouse had become so numerous and complicated within the past eight months that the Guardians felt obliged to invoke the aid of the Local Government Board to elucidate matters by means of a sworn inquiry, which was duly held in accordance with their expressed wish; is he aware that, as the result of this inquiry, the Local Government Board, in a communication to the Belfast Board of Guardians, dated 24th June, 1889, stated that the master of the Belfast Workhouse 698Neglected to look after the issue of food for the inmates, which is a very important part of his duty; that he certified the storekeeper's accounts without any examination as to their correctness;and that, having regard to the master's disobedience to the orders of the Board of Guardians, general inefficiency, and neglect, the Local Government Board had no longer confidence in him, and requested the Guardians to call upon the master to resign his position; is it true that the Guardians have failed to comply with this request from the Local Government Board, although the Guardians do not appear to disagree with the finding; and what steps, if any, will be taken to give effect to the wishes of the Local Government Board; and is such delay, as is herein shown, usual in dealing with an official who has been declared incompetent?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
It is the case that, in compliance with a Resolution of the Board of Guardians, the Local Government Board instructed an Inspector to make an inquiry into certain irregularities in the management of the Belfast Workhouse. The result of the inquiry was communicated to the Guardians on the 24th of June, and the letter of the Board contained the statement quoted in the second paragraph of the letter. The Board Local Government Board have the matter now under their consideration, and there will be no delay in dealing with it.