HC Deb 29 March 1897 vol 47 c1571

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether the, Local Government Board has ordered Mr. Agnew to hold a sworn inquiry on 1st April into the stock-keeping arrangements of the Armagh Union Workhouse; (2) whether he is aware that Mr. Agnew has already sent in a report which was unfavourable to the master: and that the guardians of the union think that Mr. Agnew's part in the inquiry should be that, of a witness and not an inspector holding it; and (3) will he take steps to prevent an inspector, the correctness of whose report in this case has been impugned, from acting as judge and witness at the same time?


The answer to the first paragraph is, Yes. Mr. Agnew has never held an inquiry into the master's conduct. It appears that the Guardians recently passed a Resolution to the effect that, in their opinion, Mr. Agnew would be a necessary witness at the Inquiry. The third paragraph is based on a misapprehension of the functions of an inspector. He takes the evidence laid before him and forwards it to the Local Government Board, who are the judges in the matter, and it is with the Board and not with the Inspector that the decision rests. If any rule such as suggested were laid down, it, would be necessary to send another inspector to hold an inquiry in every case in which the district inspector had called attention to matters requiring investigation, which it is part of an inspector's duty to do.


Am I to understand that Mr. Agnew is still going to hold this inquiry?


Yes, Sir.