§ MR. MACNEILL: (Donegal, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland why have the Registrar and Assistant Registrar of the Irish Land Commission, after an official experience of 20 years, in which they have efficiently discharged their duties, been deprived of their posts; on what ground has a salary of £1,000 been given to Mr. Porter; on what ground has the salary of Mr. Lynch been raised at one bound from £300 to £800 per annum; why has Mr. O'Farrell been made Registrar to the Land Commission on a much larger salary than that drawn by the late Registrar and Assistant Registrar, who have filled those posts for upwards of ten years; and over the heads of how many officials have Mr. Porter, Mr. Lynch, and Mr. O'Farrell respectively been promoted?
§ * THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. JACKSON,) Leeds, N.
The Registrar's Department in the Land Commission had, under its old constitution, assigned to it merely duties connected with the settlement of judicial rents; but on the re-organisa- 1095 tion of the whole Commission, pursuant to the Land Purchase Act of last Session, more difficult and important duties arising under the administration of the Land Purchase Acts were combined with the other duties. To this combined office Mr. O'Farrell, who had already held an important position in the Commission and was a barrister of standing, was appointed as the officer best qualified for the discharge of these duties. Mr. Porter had been an Assistant Commissioner in receipt of a salary of £800 a year. On appointment as the permanent head of the Agricultural Department he obtained the higher salary mentioned. Mr. Lynch was not at the time of the re-organisation in receipt of a salary of £300 a year, but of £490, proceeding by increments to £550, as Chief Clerk in the Examiners' Department. On appointment as First Assistant Examiner he was, in consideration of his previous services, awarded a personal salary of £800 a year, the normal salary of the post of Assistant Examiner being fixed at £700. Neither Mr. Porter nor Mr. Lynch has been promoted over the heads of any official, while Mr. O'Farrell, as already explained, has been appointed to practically a new office.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)
When was this Agricultural Department created, and what are its functions?
§ * MR. JACKSON
If the hon. Member desires a detailed answer as to the duties of the Department, I am afraid I must ask him to give notice of his question.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
Surely, if an appointment is made of £1,000 a year for the head of an Agricultural Department, we ought to know what that Department is. We hear of it now for the first time. Does the Department undertake the publication of the Reports of the sales of live meat and the weights? Does it take £1,000 to publish these market Reports?
§ * MR. JACKSON
Oh, no; there are many very important duties, and I may say none of these appointments were made until after very careful investigation by the Irish Government and the Treasury.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
What was the date of the creation of the Department? 1096 The Commission has gone on for ten years without it.
MR. MAC NEILL
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us, is not Mr. Porter the son-in-law of one Commissioner and Mr. Lynch the son of another? Is not this a family job?