HC Deb 21 February 1898 vol 53 cc1196-7
MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland will he explain why, although by 5 and 6 Vic, c. 106, s. 112, the Irish fishery inspectors are required before 31st January in each year to make a Report which must within three weeks be laid before Parliament, the Report for 1897 was only presented to the Lord Lieutenant on 19th July last; and as the Irish Fishery Department been allowed of late years the salary of a clerk for collecting statistics; and, if so, why have the weekly returns of captures of fish which used formerly to be published been abandoned?


The Act of 1842 was passed before the control of the fisheries was transferred to the present Department, and at a time when it was feasible to comply with the statutory requirement in regard to the period within which the annual Report should be presented. But the work of the present Department has been very considerably augmented, both by legislation and otherwise, since 1842, and, as in the case of the annual Reports of the various other Public Departments, no Report of any value whatever could obviously be completed within the brief period mentioned. The employment of the clerical assistance mentioned in the second paragraph was authorised in connection with the preparations of monthly Returns made to the Board of Trade, and had nothing to say to the weekly Returns referred to. These weekly Returns were published for a short period, but as they were often found to be inaccurate and misleading their publication was discontinued.