§ MR. TULLY (Leitrim, S.)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, in deciding complaints made against their officers, the consequences of which involve censure, reduction, or dismissal, take into consideration as against the officers documentary and other evidence procured in the absence of these officers; that in many cases the officers are not afforded an opportunity of disproving or explaining the gravamen of such evidence; and that on proceedings of this sort the Commissioners of Inland Revenue have censured and dismissed many officers; and whether the Commissioners, in dealing with complaints against their officers, will be directed to afford such officers an opportunity of replying to any complaints against them before a decision is arrived at?
§ SIR W. HARCOURT
The practice of the Commisioners of Inland Revenue is not correctly stated in the question. When a serious complaint is made against an officer an inquiry is ordered, and is conducted by experienced officials, whose Report is subsequently examined by the Board. The inquiry is, so far as is possible, held in the presence of the officer. Where this is not possible, he is given an opportunity of denying or explaining the evidence against him. He can also produce evidence on his own behalf.