§ MR. EDWARD BARRY (Cork, Co., S)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether he is aware that, in the case of Rate Collector Jervois, of the Skibbereen Poor Law Union, the Guardians have unanimously requested the Local Government Board to consider their decision that Mr. Jervois should be called on to resign in consequence of some alleged irregularities in his collection; will he state what the length of Mr. Jervois' service is, and whether the amount of arrears of rate due in his district has decreased since the date of his appointment; and, whether the Local Government Board can now see their way to accede to the request of the Guardians, and at any rate postpone their action so as to give 680 the official in question a further period of probation?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
The Guardians have passed a resolution to the effect stated in the first paragraph. Mr. Jervois has had nearly 11 years service as collector. At the date of his appointment there was an arrear of £591, which amount has since been exceeded on three occasions. The average arrear since he entered on his duties has been £464, while the average of his predecessor for the last seven years he held the appointment was £206 and on one occasion stood as low as £46. The Local Government Board have also had in view the fact that only last year Mr. Jervois was threatened with dismissal, but in deference to the wishes of the Guardians was allowed to retain his position on the distinct understanding that if further well-grounded complaints were made against him, they would not permit him to continue in office. The Board now feel it would be contrary to the interests of the ratepayers of the union to allow Mr. Jervois to retain any longer the office of collector.