§ MR. DELANY (Queen's County Ossory)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he proposes to take any steps to check the influx of redundant clerical hands 1409 into the Veterinary Branch of the Irish Agricultural Department, seeing that the number of persons at present on the staff seriously in excess of that actually required; and can he say whether the present Committee of Inquiry into the affairs of the Department will take special cognisance of the Veterinary Branch with a view to locating the responsibility for this anomaly.
(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) I am informed that no influx of the character indicated is in progress. The clerical staff of the Veterinary Branch was some time since strengthened by the addition of five junior clerks, and by the transfer from another branch of a clerk formerly connected with the Veterinary Branch. This augmentation was rendered necessary by a general increase in the work of the branch, together with developments in connection with the enforcement of sheep-dipping and the regulations as to horse importations. The Department do not consider that the staff of the branch possesses any unnecessary margin of strength. If a substantial permanent decrease of the work of the branch should occur, a corresponding reduction in the staff will be made. I am not aware that the question of the number of junior clerks employed in a particular branch of the office is one which would engage the attention of the Committee of Inquiry.