§ MR. JOSEPH DEVLIN (Kilkenny, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether the proportion of cases of neglect of duty or of malappropriation of property on the part of local officers has been greater in Ireland than in England and Scotland; and whether, in the case of members of local authorities charged with looking after the administration of the Poor Laws, there has been a greater remissness of duty on the part of Irish representatives than those of England or Scotland; and, if not, whether he will explain why Irish officers in the new Orders of the Local Government Board are treated as if they were not to be trusted; and why provisions are put in the new forms which were not inserted heretofore, and which are not in the account forms of officers in England or Scotland, dealing with paying orders and with stocktaking.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
I am unable to answer the first and second inquiries. It does not appear to me that the integrity of Irish local officials is called in question, because the Accounts Orders provide for certain checks and safeguards which are essential to a proper system of financial administration. The original Accounts Orders were necessarily made before the Local Government Act came into operation, and the new Orders contain those amendments only which have been suggested by the experience gained since 1899.