§ MR. THOMAS B. CURRAN (Donegal, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, (1) whether he is aware that the Dispensary Committee of the Inishowen Union, which ought to consist of 14 members, actually consists of seven ex-officio and one elected member, that gentleman being the only person within the district who is not a justice of the peace, but possesses the requisite qualification; and (2) whether, having regard to this and other cases, he will consider the advisability of repealing or amending the Act which 1336 requires a high rating qualification for membership of a dispensary committee, either by amendment to the Public Health (Ireland) Bill, or otherwise?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR, Leeds, Central)
The Dispensary Committee in question should consist of 14 Members, but at present, I believe, it consists of only 8 Members, namely, 4 ex-officio guardians, 3 elected guardians, and 1 resident ratepayer who possesses the requisite qualification for Membership of the Committee. As regards the second paragraph, the hon. Member for North Leitrim has recently been in communication with me respecting a Bill which he has introduced and which proposes to reduce the rating qualification of Members of dispensary committees, and I have informed the hon. Member that Government accepts the principle of his Bill and would, if necessary, consider the advisability of introducing a clause of similar import into the Public Health Bill.