§ MR. DALY (Monaghan, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the arbitrator, in reference to the scheme of labourers' cottages in Carrickmacross Union, now nearly completed, made the following charges—namely, correspondence with clerk, one hour, 10s. 6d.; travelling, four hours, £2 2s.; rail to Carrickmacross, £1 1s. 4d.; one night from homo, £1 1s.; hearing claims, ten hours, £3 3s.; inspecting sites and back to Belfast, nine hours, £3 3s.; making up valuation and forming award, six hours, £3 3s.; completing award, four hours, £2 2s.; whether he can explain why in one instance that the arbitrator charged 10s. 6d. per hour, and in another 6s. 4d. per hour, whether the arbitrator can charge what he pleases, and if he is a servant of the Government; and whether he can state if the Local Government Board received any of the money in the arbitrator's account charged to the Carrickmacross Board of Guardians, and whether he will inquire into these charges with a view to a refund.
§ MR. G. W. BALFOUR
The expenses of the arbitrator are accurately set forth in the first paragraph. The apparent discrepancy referred to in the second paragraph is thus explained: the usual fee is £3 3s. per day of not less than six hours, which is equivalent to 10s. 6d. per hour, whereas the arbitrator charged that fee in respect of one day of ten hours work, which was equivalent to 6s. 4d. per hour. The arbitrator's expenses are paid according to scale, and he cannot charge what he pleases. He is not a paid servant of the Government. The whole of the amount was paid to the arbitrator himself, and no portion was received by the Department. The guardians were invited to submit any objections to the payment of the account. Apparently, however, they considered the charges reasonable, for they at once paid the arbitrator the full amount of his claim. It is not intended to make any further inquiry in the matter.