§ MR. J. MACVEAGH (Down, S.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether any complaints have reached the Local Government Board with regard to alleged abuses in connection with contracts placed by the Limavady Urban District Council; if so, whether the matters complained of come into the accounts for the year ending 31st March, 1908; whether they are covered in the last audit; and whether the Local Government Board propose 513 to leave the complaints unattended to for another year or, alternatively, to hold a sworn inquiry.
(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The answer to the first part of this Question is in the affirmative. The Local Government Board have no power to prohibit the urban district council from entering into the contract referred to; but in reply to the complaints the Board stated that it was open to any ratepayer to attend and object at the audit of the council's accounts, and the auditor can surcharge if any loss to the ratepayers has been incurred. The auditor has been investigating the payments on account of the contract made during the year ending 31st March, 1907; but the Board are not in a position to say whether any such payments will be included in the accounts for the year ending 31st March next.