§ MR. BARRIE (Londonderry, N)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether in view of the demand of the Roman Catholic clergymen of Claremorris that no candidate for the vacant clerkship of that district council should be considered by them unless he held a certificate from his parish priest, he will say whether such request was agreed to by the district council; whether he has addressed any remonstrance to the district council against this treatment of candidates other than Roman Catholics; and whether, if the Claremorris Urban District Council should in making the appointment fail to consider all candidates on their merits and apart from their religious professions, he will order a fresh election.
I am informed that the reply to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. It is not within my province or that of the Local Government Board to address a remonstrance in the matter to the Claremorris Rural District Council. The election of clerk of the union rests with the Board of Guardians, which, however, consists of the same persons as the rural district council. Before the Guardians can elect a candidate, it is necessary that he should be proposed and seconded. If the Guardians should refuse to put to the vote the name of any candidate duly proposed and seconded, it would, I am advised, be competent for the Local Government Board to declare the election to be invalid, but the Board could not interfere if any candidate failed to get a proposer and seconder.