§ MR. JASPER TULLY
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether he is aware that the Boards of Guardians of Boyle and Strokestown Unions, in the county Roscommon, have passed resolutions, as the local authorities, dispensing with the services of petty sessions clerks as explosive inspectors under the Explosives Act on the ground that there were no duties for them to perform, and have requested the police to attend to the administration of the Act; and (2) whether, seeing that some of the petty sessions clerks have initiated legal proceedings for the recovery of their salaries, the Local Government Board will advise the Board of Guardians as to the resisting of these claims?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND
I am informed that the Boards of Guardians of these Unions have passed resolutions substantially to the effect mentioned in the first paragraph. I may point out, however, that appointments to the office of inspector under the Explosives Act are made by the magistrates in Petty Sessions, as the local authority constituted by the Act, though any remuneration payable to these officers is paid out of the rates. It has been the policy of the Government for many years past to encourage the employment, in the capacity referred to, of members of the constabulary (who perform the duties gratuitously), with a view to the more efficient administration of the Act, as well as to relieve the ratepayers of the amount now paid to inspectors as salary. The Local Government Board have no functions in the matter of such appointments, and could not advise the Guardians as suggested in the second part of the Question.