§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin County, N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether it is a fact that the Bank of Ireland, as treasurer of the North Dublin Union, has refused to allow the North Dublin Board of Guardians to overdraw its account to the extent of £4,000, for a limited period, on the security of the rates, although that security has been practically admitted by the Local Government Board to be ample; whether the Munster and Leinster Bank has offered to make the required advance, free of interest, on condition of the Union account being transferred to it from the Bank of Ireland; whether the Guardians resolved to transfer their account to the Munster and Leinster Bank, and whether 1130 they have been prevented from acting on this resolution by the Local Government Board; whether there is any statutable provision against such a transfer of the account of the North Dublin Board as has been suggested; and, if not, why the Local Government Board insist on dealing exclusively with the Bank of Ireland; and, since the Local Government Board have prevented the North Dublin Board of Guardians from obtaining money on good terms from the Munster and Leinster Bank, what does the Government propose to do to enable the Board to carry on its work for the relief of the poor?
§ * MR. A. J. BALFOUR
It is the fact that the Bank of Ireland, as treasurer of the North Dublin Union, declined to advance to the Guardians of that Union so large a sum as £4,000, but the Bank offered to allow them to overdraw their account to the amount of £2,000, and this offer the Guardians accepted on the 16th of January last. From the Guardians' minutes of proceedings on the 23rd of January it appears that the Munster and Leinster Bank offered to lend £4,000, free of interest, for three months, or until such time as moneys would come in, provided that the account of the Union was changed to that Bank. The Guardians did adopt a resolution to the effect that their account be changed to the Munster and Leinster Bank, but the Local Government Board declined to sanction such transfer, on the ground that a treasurer who refused to advance large sums of money to the Guardians could not thereby be deemed to have failed to comply with the Board's general regulations defining his duties as an officer of the Union. Besides, the Bank of Ireland during past years frequently allowed the Guardians of the North Dublin Union to overdraw their account, and in the present instance lent them a sum of £2,000, so that it could not fairly be contended that the action of the Bank towards the Guardians had been illiberal. The treasurer of a union is appointed under the 24th article of the Board's general regulations, and his tenure of office is governed by the 39th article of the same Order, which provides that every officer appointed to or holding any office under the Order shall, subject to the provisions of Article 40, continue to hold the same until he die, or resign 1131 or be removed, by the Local Government Board. It is not the practice of the Board to allow a treasurer to be removed from office unless reasonable and sufficient grounds can be assigned for dispensing with his services; and the fact that a bank acts in that capacity does not alter the position which the treasurer of the Union occupies under the Order referred to. The Guardians have recently received £3,137 in lieu of rates on Government property, as well as a considerable amount in respect of rates collected, and it appears that last week they had a sum of £2,553 to their credit at the foot of their treasurer's account, so that they do not now want funds for the relief of the poor.
§ MR. SEXTON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that the Bank of Ireland did advance money to the Guardians of the Dublin Union until the Union agreed to transfer their account to the Munster Bank; and whether the course pursued by the Bank of Ireland has not thrown grave inconvenience upon the ratepayers?