§ SIR THOMAS ESMONDE
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if he will grant the two Returns entitled Wexford County v. Local Government Board and Local Government (Ireland) Officials standing on to-day's Paper.†The following are the Returns referred to in the question—Wexford County v. Local Government Board.—Return giving the Report of the Judgment delivered in the Irish Court of Appeal on Monday, 25th February last, together with the Pleadings and Affidavits on both sides, in the ease of the County Wexford County Council against the Local Government Board for Ireland.Local Government (Ireland) Officials—Return giving the cases in which the Salaries of County Council, District Council, Urban Council, and Union Officials have been increased or attempted to be increased by the Local Government Board for Ireland since the pissing of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, together with the amount of the former Salary and of the increased Salary in each case, and the total addition to Irish Local Taxation consequent upon these increases; and giving also Copies of the protests of the local bodies concerned against these increases or attempted increases.
MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
At the same time may I ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been directed to the comments of the Judges of the Court of Appeal in Ireland on the letter of the 30th April, 1 900, addressed by the Irish Local Government Board to the County Council of Wexford; and whether he will lay upon the Table of the House the letter referred to and the affidavits of Sir Henry Robinson, Vice-President of the Local Government Board, in reply to the case made by the Wexford Council against the sealed orders of the Board which have been quashed by the Court of Appeal.
§ MR. WYNDHAM
In respect of the first of these Returns there is no objection to giving the report of the judgment of the Court of Appeal, with the affidavits attached. I do not quite gather what is meant by the pleadings. It would be impossible to give, officially, reports of speeches made by counsel. There is no objection to giving the information asked for in the second Return, excepting only the protests of local bodies. There are, in all probability, protests upon minutes which have not been communicated to the Local Government Board in the form of resolutions. I should be unwilling, by publishing those received, to expose the Board to the charge of having withheld any protests. On the other hand the task of obtaining access to, and of searching all the records of all the bodies concerned over so long a period, would involve a greater labour than I feel could fairly be thrown on a heavily worked Department. The form of this Return is now under consideration in connection with a somewhat similar notice recently moved for by the hon. Member for North Donegal, and I will communicate with the hon. Baronet on the subject in the course of a couple of days.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
The right hon. Gentleman speaks of the great labour which would be thrown on the Department in searching the records for protests. Could he not issue a three line, circular to each council, asking if any such protest has been made, and thus get the information?
§ MR. WYNDHAM
I have no objection to taking any reasonable steps, but there 389 might be some difficulty in following this plan. We might be charged with omitting some.
§ MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)
Have the Local Government Board any objection to giving county councils a copy of the judgment?