HC Deb 24 April 1907 vol 173 cc37-8

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the action of the Local Government Board auditor in disallowing a small expenditure by the guardians of the South Dublin Union for luncheons, he will apply a similar principle to Boards nominated by Government, such as the Irish Lights Board; and whether he can state the cost for the last financial year of the weekly luncheons of the Irish Lights Board, distinguishing the same from the expenditure for refreshments for the sub-committee making the annual sail of inspection around Ireland.


The Irish Lights Board is not nominated by the Government, but is a statutory body. Their expenditure, which is defrayed out of the General Lighthouse Fund, requires the sanction of the Board of Trade. The cost of their weekly luncheons for the last financial year was £225 6s. 4d. and that of the refreshments of their Inspection Committee £174 3s. 5d. These amounts are charged against the annual sum—limited to £400—which is allowed by the Board of Trade to meet the housekeeping expenses of the Commissioners. The Commissioners do a large amount of public work without remuneration, and I am not disposed to interfere with their luncheons which, as the hon. Member is doubtless aware, are usually provided at the public expense for members of Royal Commissions and similar bodies.


Will the right hon. Gentleman tell me the value of the wine stock in the cellars of the Irish Lights Board?


There is an inquiry going on at the present moment.

MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)

Are the members of this Board teetotalers?


I must allow the hon. Member to draw his own inference from the figures I have given.