§ DR. AMBROSE (Mayo, W.)
To ask the President of the Local Government Board whether the Westminster Board of Guardians have for the fifth time refused to recognise his ruling in declining to sanction the appointment of their own chairman to the position of relieving officer of the union, for which he had not the necessary qualifications; whether the chairman so selected has himself presided over meetings of the guardians at which the Local Government Board was practically defied; and whether, in view of the continued contumacy of this board of guardians, he will assert his authority and recognise as relieving officer the present assistant relieving officer of the union, who has rendered faithful and efficient service for more than eight years.
(Answered by Mr. John Burns.) It is the case that I have several times intimated to the guardians that I do not feel able to sanction the appointment by them of their chairman as relieving officer, and that they have not at present 404 accepted the view which I have expressed on this subject. It is also the case that the chairman referred to has himself presided and voted at meetings of the guardians at which this matter has been considered. I have definitely decided not to sanction the appointment, but I understand that the guardians at their meeting on Tuesday last referred the matter to their general purposes committee for consideration and report, and I still hope that they will appoint someone else with suitable qualifications to the office without its being necessary for me to take more decided action in the matter.