§ MR. D. CRILLY (Mayo, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether he is 1478 aware that the dual offices of poor rate collector and relieving officer are held in Achill by the same person; and that, in view of the extent of the district in which he is called upon to discharge his duties as relieving officer, the Guardians of the Westport Union suspended this official from the office of rate collector; (2) will he explain why the Local Government Board has refused to sanction this, action of the Westport Guardians; and (3) whether it is usual for the Local Government Board to allow a relieving officer to act as rate collector also?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
The facts are as stated in the first paragraph, except that the reason assigned by the Guardians for suspending the officer in question from the position of poor rate collector was his neglect of duty in failing to collect outstanding seed rate. The Local Government Board did not refuse to sanction the action of the Guardians; on the contrary they approved of it. Subsequently, however, the Guardians withdrew the suspension and applied to the Board for their sanction to its removal. The Board thereupon stated they would leave the matter in the hands of the Guardians, though they considered the officer had performed his duties in a very unsatisfactory manner, and requested that he should be warned that, unless his lodgments were sufficient, the collection would be taken out of his hands. There is no regulation preventing the two offices mentioned from being held by the same person.