§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Deland whether be is aware that the Dispensary Committee of Ballyshannon consists of eleven elected members, of whom eight are Catholics and three am Protestants, and of twenty ex-officio members, of whom no fewer than fourteen are Protestants and six Catholics, being the Poor Law Guardians ex-officio and elected who reside in the district; and whether, having regard to the fact that there is a Protestant majority of eight ill the Dispensary Committee of a district where the Catholics number nine-tenths of the population, and have an overwhelmingly larger valuation on which rates are levied than the Protestants, he will consider the propriety of advising the Local Government Board, in exercise of the powers vested in them, to allow the number of the members of the Dispensary Committee to be increased, and to confer on the guardians of the union the power of co-opting additional members on the Ballyshannon Dispensary Committee?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
It is the fact that the Committee of Management of the Ballyshannon Dispensary Committee consists of 31members, of whom 11 are elected Guardians. I have no information as to their religious opinions, nor does the question of religion enter into consideration in the constitution of these Committees. The Local Government Board, at the request of the Guardians, recently increased the number 1589 of members of the Ballyshannon Committee to 31, in order that all the Guardians qualified to be members might included, and as there are sufficient Guardians qualified to act on the Committee no ratepayers have been elected. It is not proposed to take any further action in this matter, as no representation has been made to the Local Government Board that the sick poor require additional facilities for obtaining medical relief tickets.