§ SIR THOMAS ESMONDE (Wexford, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware that the Local Government Board for Ireland have refused to give the Wexford County Council a copy of the report of their representative who conducted the recent inquiry at Wexford into the question of the salaries of the county and district surveyors, and if he will lay that report upon the Table of the House; if he is also aware that the Local Government Board have refused to give any reasons for their increase of the salaries of the officials in question; and if, in view of the fact that these officials admitted at the inquiry that they had no increase of duties under the Local Government (Ireland) Act, he can explain how the salary of the county surveyor has been raised from £650 to £846, and the salaries of the three deputy surveyors from £240 to £428; and if he will give the difference, respectively, between the salaries now fixed by the Local Government Board and those previously fixed by the Local Government Board and declared by the Court of Appeal to be illegal.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
The reports made by the inspectors of the Local Government Board in such matters are confidential documents and it would be 1078 contrary to invariable practice to lay them upon the Table. The decision of the Board was based on the evidence given at the inquiry and on Section 115 (18) of the Local Government Act of 1898. The officials did not admit they had no increase of duties; on the contrary, the surveyor stated, on oath, that his duties had increased over 70 per cent. The other officers also gave particulars of their increased duties, and no rebutting evidence was offered on behalf of the county council. The difference between the salaries now fixed and those originally fixed is £26.