§ MR. MEEHAN (Queen's County, Leix)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that a Mr. Monteith has recently 943 been appointed to a position in the Irish Local Government Board Office; can he say what are the necessary qualifications and salary attached to the office now held by Mr. Monteith; did he pass the Civil Service or any other examinations; what was Mr. Monteith's previous occupation; on whose recommendation was the appointment made; over how many existing officers was Mr. Monteith appointed: and if the appointment is permanent and carries a pension.
* MR. BRYCE
I am informed that Mr. Monteith was temporarily employed at a salary of £4 4s. a week, to assist the Local Government Board's inspectors in reporting on sites for labourers' cottages. The appointment of assistant to the inspectors was made in time of pressure to enable the Board to expedite the work of the inspectors. No qualifications have been prescribed for the office in question, which is only a temporary one, and does not entitle the holder to a pension. Mr. Monteith was not appointed over the head of any existing officers and was not required to pass any examination. He was previously employed as assistant private secretary to the late Chief Secretary both at the Irish Office and at the Local Government Board for England. Mr. Monteith was first employed by the Vice-President of the Board upon his personal knowledge of Mr. Monteith's capabilities.
§ MR. MEEHAN
Seeing that there are thousands of educated Irishmen constantly leaving the country through want of employment, will the right hon. Gentleman take care that in future these offices shall be filled by Irishmen instead of being handed over to strangers?
* MR. BRYCE
said it would be dangerous to lay down any general rule. Presumably in these cases preference was given to Irishmen, but a hard and fast rule might be to the disadvantage of Irishmen so far as posts in England and Scotland were concerned.