asked the Chief Secretary whether, having regard to the announcement he made in this House on the 24th April, 1907, that it was the fixed intention of the Government that the office of Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) should be a Ministerial office, held by a gentleman sitting on the Government Benches and responsible to this House for the work of his Department, he would state the reasons which had led the Government to change their fixed intentions and allow this office to be held by a gentleman who had no seat in this House?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
There has been no change in the fixed intentions of the Government, who are still of opinion that the office in question should be a Ministerial office, held by a gentleman in sympathy with the party in power, sitting here on these benches, and responsible to this House for the work of his Department. It is unfortunately true that the Vice-President lost his seat at the recent General Election, but, in the opinion of the Prime Minister, it is only right to allow him reasonable time to seek re-election elsewhere.
May I ask whether this position of Vice-President of the Irish Department of Agriculture will be held by a person holding a seat in any part of the United Kingdom except Ireland?