asked what arrangements, if any, the Local Government Board for Ireland has made for the discharge of the duties of their clerk who has been appointed official shorthand writer to the Irish Rebellion (Victims) Committee, to the detriment of Irish journalists by whom important work of this character has always been done and whose applications in this instance were refused; what deductions, if any, will be made from this clerk's salary while he is engaged on outside work; whether his appointment as shorthand writer for an outside body shows that the clerical staff of the Local Government Board is too large for the demands made on it; and whether it is the intention of the Irish Government, in view of the departure they have now sanctioned in regard to official shorthand writing, to employ in future Government clerks in preference to competent journalists whose competency and impartiality have never been questioned?
§ Mr. DUKE
The Local Government Board have not made any arrangements for the discharge of the duties of the clerk who has been asked by the Rebellion (Victims) Committee to take such shorthand notes as may be required by the Committee as the time spent by the clerk in taking such notes will be counted against his leave. For the same reason the question of deductions from his salary does not arise. As previously pointed out the decision as to who will take the shorthand notes is a matter for the Committee, and not for the Local Government Board. The Irish Government are not in a position to state what their action in the future in regard to such matters will be, but it can be explained as occasion arises.