§ MR. THOMAS O'DONNELL (Kerry, W.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland what was the total amount of salaries paid in each county in Ireland to dispensary doctors in the year 1897; the credit given each county in respect of those salaries in fixing the amount of the Agricultural Grant; the total amount of salaries paid in the year 1906 and the additional contributions towards those salaries from sources other than the Agricultural Grant or local rates; and the total for each county of credits in respect of Agricultural Grant and other contributions.
(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The total amount of the salaries of dispensary medical officers in the year 1897 came to £90,727, of which one-half was recouped from the Parliamentary Grant. In arriving at the amount which should be allowed for the Agricultural Grant in respect of union charges, account was taken of the amounts actually raised as poor rate by boards of guardians in the standard year, regard being had to any exceptional circumstances which may have caused a variation from the average in accordance with section 49 (1) of The Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898. Special account was not, however, taken of any individual item, and it would not be possible to state with accuracy the actual credit given to each county in respect of the salaries of dispensary medical officers. In the year ended March, 1906, the salaries of the medical officers, together with the payments for services of temporary medical officers, came to £110,134, of which it may be taken that somewhat less than one-half was recouped from the Local Taxation Account. The exact amount of recoupment cannot be given owing to the limitation imposed by Section 6 (1) of the Local Government Act 21 of 1902. The salaries of medical officers are paid according to unions, and the unions are not in all cases co-terminous with the counties. The present number of unions extending beyond county limits is forty-six, but there were more than this number in 3897, and no sectional valuations are available for the purpose in that year, so that a comparative statement could not be arrived at, which is presumably what the hon. Member desires.