§ Mr. JAMES PARKER
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that in 1912 his Board received from the Rural District Council of Chippenham a request to be permitted to determine the appointment of their inspector of nuisances, Mr. Edmund Balchin; whether the Board asked for reasons for acceding to the application, and whether those reasons were supplied; whether he is aware that Mr. Balchin has now received notice from the council terminating his engagement on the 31st August next, and that the medical officer of health for Chippenham stated in his annual report sent to the Board that he wished to thank Mr. Balchin for the assistance he had rendered and the energy he had shown in discharging the various duties of his office; if so, whether in view of the satisfaction expressed by the medical officer of health and the absence of any statement of reason from the rural district council, he is satisfied that no reason, ether than the advantage of the public health service, is actuating the local sanitary authority; and, if not so satisfied, whether he proposes to hold a public inquiry into the matter and into the sanitary conditions of, and administration in, the Rural District of Chippenham?
§ Mr. BURNS
The facts are generally as stated in the question, but it was not until to-day that I received a statement of the reasons of the rural district council for dismissing the officer. They now state that the reasons for their action are general incompetence, accompanied by language and behaviour quite unbecoming to one occupy-1086W ing an official position. The sanction of the Local Government Board is not required to the dismissal of this officer from office, but I am making some further inquiries into the matter.