§ MR. D. MACALEESE (Monaghan, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the magistrates of Ballygawley, county Tyrone, have appointed Mr. John Devlin, petty sessions clerk, to be inspector of explosives? What salary is Mr. Devlin to receive for the discharge of his new duties; and, were the Constabulary remiss in their supervision of explosives; and, if not, what reason existed for transferring the duty to Mr. Devlin?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
The magistrates elected Mr. Devlin as inspector under the Explosives Act at a salary of £4 per annum. It has been the invariable practice of the Government for several years past to refuse consent to the appointment of a clerk of petty sessions to act also as inspector of explosives, and Mr. Devlin has informed the magistrates that he cannot accept the proposed appointment. In 1884 an intimation was conveyed to the various local authorities throughout Ireland that the Government consented to the nomination of members of the Constabulary to act gratuitously as inspectors under the Act. This arrangement has the double advantage of securing efficiency in the administration of the Act and of relieving the local rates of the salary of an officer acting as inspector. A large number of local authorities have availed themselves of the services of the Constabulary accordingly. I have no reason to believe that the member of the Force who formerly acted as inspector in the district in question, and who has been transferred to another district, was remiss in the discharge of his duties. It is now open to the magistrates to appoint another member of the Force who, as I have stated, will act as inspector without expense to the rates.