§ Mr. SHEEHAN
asked the Chief Secretary whether he can explain the circumstances under which Mr. Patrick J. Clarke ceased to be stocktaker for the Dundalk Union; whether he acted as stocktaker for the past eight years without any complaint whatever being made against him; has he been deprived of his position by the guardians because of his political opinions; is he aware that they have elected in his stead a man named John Ward; is he aware that this man, when stocktaking eight years ago, sent in a return showing that the then master had a certain amount of tea in stock, and that a committee of the guardians found, when examining the stock, there were nine chests of tea short; and is it the intention of the Local Government Board to sanction the appointment of this man?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Stocktakers are appointed for each half year, and on the last occasion the guardians selected Mr. John Ward. Mr. Clarke, who appears to have acted as stocktaker from 1904 to 1909 inclusive, was also a candidate for the position, but the Local Government Board are not aware why the guardians selected Mr. Ward in preference on the last occasion. The sanction of the Board is not necessary to Mr. Ward's appointment, but they will make inquiries as to the irregularity mentioned.