§ MR. KENNEDY
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the debit and credit balances found to exist by the adjusting auditor under the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, between the several divisions of the Trim Union, were the growth of many years, seeing that one division had a credit balance of 2s. and another a debit balance of 1s. 10½d., while the poor rate 299 in the standard year was only 1s. 6d., and having regard to the fact that the Local Government Board Auditor was bound in each half-yearly audit to see that each poor law division contributed its due proportion of union expenditure, will he state whether this was done, and, if not, whether ho will inquire who is responsible for a system of accounts which has caused hardship to ratepayers who were obliged to bear the whole of those debit balances, half of which the landlords would have been obliged to allow the tenant if levied when due by the several divisions previous to the passing of the said Act.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
Considerable research would be needed to determine whether the balances were the growth of years. It was the auditor's duty to see that the proper proportion of receipts and expenditure was charged in each half-year to each electoral division in accordance with statutory requirements. That duty was properly discharged. The auditor was under no responsibility to see that each electoral division contributed its due proportion towards the general expenditure of the union. This lies entirely within the competence of the guardians for decision by them when preparing the estimate of rates to be levied. It seems that, in the case of the Trim Union, the former board of guardians failed to assess their proper contribution on certain electoral divisions, while they appear to have placed an unduly high assessment on others.