§ MR. CHARLES CRAIG (Antrim, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland if he is aware that prior to the Local Government Act, 1898, the medical appointments in the North and South Dublin Unions were held by an equal number of Protestants and Roman Catholics, and that since the passing of that Act every vacancy occurring in the medical offices has been filled by a Roman Catholic; and if the Government will take steps to secure fair treatment for Protestants.
§ MR. BIRRELL
I am not aware whether the facts are as stated in the Question. The Local Government Board have no information as to the religious belief of medical officers of unions whether appointed before or since the passing of the Local Government Act, 1898. In any event, the matter is not one in which the Government have power to interfere.
§ MR. MEEHAN (Queen's County, Leix)
Is it not the ease that before the passing of the Act of 1898 the ninety-eight medical appointments for Ireland 109 were almost exclusively held by Protestants?
§ MR. CHARLES CRAIG
Consider the difference in the tone of the right hon. Gentleman's reply to my Question and to the—
§ MR. MEEHAN
Was not the object of the Act of 1898 to give the majority of the people of Ireland a fair proportion of the appointments?
§ MR. DELANY
Is it not the case that in the Queen's County thirty-four out of thirty-five public appointments were held by Protestants before 1898?