HC Deb 17 February 1893 vol 8 cc1711-2

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Local Government Board still persists in refusing to make a general reduction in the rateable qualification for Poor Law Guardianship unless the Boards of Guardians pass resolutions in favour of the reform; whether he is aware that those Boards of Guardians are at present constituted as to one-half of ex-officios over whom the ratepayers have no control, and half of elected guardians whose rateable qualification must be on an average four times that existing in England; whether in view of the principle accepted by the House of Commons on Wednesday, in favour of abolishing all qualifications in England for such offices other than occupations, be will ask the Irish Local Government Board to reconsider the matter; and who are the present members of the Irish Local Government Board?


I am informed by the Local Government Board that since the 3rd instant, when I replied to a question put by the hon. Member on this subject, the rating qualification for the office of guardian has been reduced in three unions, and that the Board do not refuse to make reductions, without the approval of the guardians, when such reductions are shown to be desirable. The facts regarding the constitution of Poor Law Boards are as stated, but in a large majority of the unions in Ireland the ex-officio members who attend the meetings are in a minority. With reference to paragraph 3, it must be borne in mind that the incidence of Poor Law rating in Ireland is different from that in England. The members of the Local Government Board are the Chief Secretary, the Vice President, the Under Secretary, the Medical Commissioner, and Mr. Commissioner Robinson.