§ MR. O'KELLY (Mayo, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty if he will state the grounds on which the application of Dr. MacHale, medical officer of Belmullet district, for the appointment of surgeon to the Admiralty in that place, was rejected, seeing that for fifty years the position was held by Dr. MacHale's predecessors as local medical officer; if he will state why, contrary to invariable practice, a doctor living in another part of the country was appointed to the vacancy; and if he will also state the fees now being paid to this doctor and the fees paid annually for the previous ten years; the number of coastguards to be attended; and whether, before appointing the present surgeon, the Admiralty made any effort to have the work done for less than what they are now paying.
§ *MR. PRETYMAN
The Admiralty did not consider that Dr. MacHale was the most suitable gentleman for the post, 1714 and it has never been the practice to appoint a man simply because his predecessor held the appointment of surgeon and agent. The present holder of the appointment is paid 10s. a visit. Previously the ordinary surgeon and agent's fees of 2s. 6d. per visit were allowed. It is not possible to state the precise amount paid in fees annually during the previous ten years without an elaborate investigation of records, which would involve considerable clerical labour and time. The number of coastguards to be attended at the five stations under the surgeon and agent's charge is thirty. The reply to the last part of the hon. Member's Question is in the negative.