§ MR. MEEHAN
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware if the Estates Commissioners, through their inspector, Mr. Cunningham, have appointed Mr. Bates, civil engineer, county Down, to superintend the completion of seven cottages for evicted tenants at Luggacurran; whether, according to the terms of contract, these seven cottages should have been completed last December; whether he is aware if there are two civil engineers (one a Board of Works local inspector), inspectors under the Labourers Acts in the union of Carlow and Athy, resident in the immediate neighbourhood of Luggacurran; were either of them offered the superintendence of the seven cottages; on what grounds was the expense incurred of appointing a special civil engineer for this duty; and what are the terms of Mr. Bates's appointment, salary and expenses.
The Estates Commissioners inform me that the superintendence of the building of the houses referred to is being carried out by their permanent officials, and no special 951 appointments have been made in connection therewith. Mr. Bates, who is one of their surveyors, is a non-pensionable officer at a salary of £120 rising to £180 with an allowance of 10s. a day when absent from home on duty. This gentleman, who is a civil engineer, has been superintending under the Commissioners' Inspector the erection of the houses in question, which will be shortly visited and reported on by the senior surveyor of the Commissioners. As to the reasons for the non-completion of the contract at the specified time, namely, March last, I beg to refer to my reply to the hon. Member's Question of 21st May.