HC Deb 01 March 1900 vol 79 cc1448-9

I beg to ask Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, as representing the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, will he explain on what grounds the Local Government Board have ordered the Trim Board of Guardians against their will to pay £2 2s. to the Athboy medical officer's substitute whilst that officer was attending on subpoena at the February Quarter Sessions of Trim, as witness on a civil bill for damages for assault by the schoolmaster of Ballinor on a boy attending school there; and whether, as the case will be heard again on appeal, the ratepayers have to pay that medical officer's substitute a second time if that officer has to attend on the appeal; and whether it is intended by the Government to allow the Local Government Board to continue to make the ratepayers chargeable with medical attendance in cases in which they are not concerned, or to pay for the substitutes of medical officers subpoenaed as witnesses.


The Local Government Board have been advised that a medical officer compelled by subpoena to be absent from his district is temporarily incapacitated from performing his duties within the meaning of the Relief Act and Orders, and the board of guardians were bound, therefore, to make provision for the care of the sick poor during his absence by employing and paying a temporary substitute. If the dispensary medical officer is again compelled by subpoena to leave his district temporarily, it will be again necessary for the guardians to employ and pay a substitute to perform his duties. It is a matter of very rare occurrence for a board of guardians to have to incur expenses such as these.


If the medical officer attends on a subpoena, does he not receive a fee for it?


Yes, and in that case he would pay his substitute from his own pocket.