§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
I beg (1) to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, with reference to the Report of the Congested Districts 1165 Board for Ireland, why the accounts are not balanced or audited; (2) whether the 17 stallions and the 68 bulls which appear to have been bought at a cost of £7,500 are alive and still in the possession or control of the Board; (3) whether the words on page 42 of the Report, that the bulls are not located with actual farmers, mean that they are located with landlords; if not, what they do mean; (4) whether, seeing £1,556 was paid for curing codling and baddies, part of £8,000 spent on fishing experiments in Galway Bay, what moneys were received for these codling and baddies after they were cured, and if such receipts are fully represented by the sum of 12s. which appears in the accounts; (5) and whether, seeing he is a member of the Board, and that the revenue of the Board is obtained exclusively from an Irish source, he is willing to take steps to restrict further outlay of the nature described until the Board is placed under a properly qualified Irish authority?
MR. J. MORLEY
I think this is a question which might well have been addressed to the Department and answered by letter, still I am pleased to give my hon. Friend the information he wishes. I am informed that (1) the accounts are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General, who will report in due course; (2)15 of the stallions are alive and in the possession of the Congested Districts Board, the remaining two stallions were only hired by the Board for the season, and have been returned to their owners. Of the 68 bulls, 63 are in the possession of the persons to whom they were sold, though they are still under the control of the Board, and the remaining five are in the possession of the Board. The sum of £7,500 does not represent the actual cost of the animals; it includes also the expenditure of feeding, stabling, employment of grooms and other incidental charges; (3)the words referred to at page 42 of the Report relate only to those bulls which were located in Kerry for the improvement of the Kerry breed of cattle. They were placed, I understand, with persons considered suitable in the particular localities in which it was thought desirable that bulls should be placed for the benefit of small occupiers; (4) the sum of £1,556 for fish-curing was expended for the greater part in building curing stations, and in the payment of 1166 wages of Norwegian, Scotch, and English fish-curers. Up to the 31st December, 1892, a sum of about £60 was received for the sale of dried fish. The sum of 12s. which appears in the accounts was a refund of discount in connection with the purchase of some fishing gear.
MR. J. MORLEY
I do not know why, but I am aware that the energetic Secretary to the Board has done his best to get them out.