§ MR. J. KELLY (Camberwell, N.)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether the Mr. John Brydone, whose name has recently been largely advertised as that of the Chairman of the Cheshire Salt Corpora- 70 tion, with a capital of £250,000, is at present the Inspector under the Canal Boats Acts, and in the receipt of a salary of £600 a year; whether he is aware that the Directors of that company published in the advertisement of their prospectus a letter bearing the signature of Mr. Thomas Ward, of Brookfield House, Northwich, dated 4th June, 1887, and purporting to recommend the Church Hill Estate which, in the prospectus, was described as "one of the most important salt properties in the United Kingdom," and as having been secured by the company, and that such letter of Mr. Ward has been stated by him in a letter dated the 18th instant "not to have referred to that estate, but to an entirely different property;" whether, in consequence of such second letter of Mr. Ward, the Directors of the company have been unable to proceed to allotment; and whether he will state if there -is any rule as to the holding of Directorships by Civil servants?
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. RITCHIE, Tower Hamlets, St. George's)
Prior to notice of this question, my attention was drawn to the fact that Mr. Brydone, who is an Inspector under the Canal Boats. Acts, was named in the prospectus of the proposed Cheshire Salt Corporation as the Chairman of the company, and I at once called upon him for an explanation. He informed me that his acceptance of the position would not interfere with the performance of his duties as an officer of the Department, as the meetings of the Directors would be held in the afternoon or evening, and would not occupy more than one or two hours monthly. I regret that Mr. Brydone should have accepted the position referred to, and I have so informed him and intimated to him that his holding the office of Director in any public company is inconsistent with the terms on which he was appointed as an Inspector. I have no information as to the estate referred to in the prospectus, but Mr. Brydone informs me that the Directors of the company are not proceeding to allotment.