HC Deb 20 February 1894 vol 21 c845
MR. RENTOUL (Down, E.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that of the total population of County Down the Presbyterians are 39.8 per cent., the Roman Catholics 27.5 per cent., and the Episcopalians 24.5 per cent.; that of the County Down Asylum Board, as constituted for 1894, nine members are Episcopalian, five are Roman Catholic, and three are Presbyterian; and that of the nine members nominated by the Lord Lieutenant live are Roman Catholic, two are Episcopalian, and two are Presbyterian; whether he is aware that the Presbyterian clergymen in County Down are many more in number than the clergymen of any other denomination, and that, while there are one Episcopal and two Roman Catholic, there is no Presbyterian clergyman on the Board; whether he can account for this inequality of treatment, and explain the reason of it; and whether he will take any, and what, steps to have the inequality removed?


The facts appear to be substantially as stated in the first paragraph of the hon. Member's question, except that the Episcopalian members of the Board are nine in number. The Presbyterian denomination has on the Board for 1894 the same number of representatives as it had for the Board of 1892, which was constituted by the late Government. I admit that it is entitled to additional representation. If an opportunity arise, and that it can be equitably done, I shall be happy to adjust the inequality. The matter could be readily adjusted if the Grand Jury, who nominate one-half the Board, would co-operate.