§ 36. Mr. GINNELL
asked whether temporary inspectors under the Local Government Board for Ireland usually become permanent in name or in fact; what qualifications, examinations, or knowledge of the matters to be inspected are required; whether local government officials of experience are eligible; whether it was in open competition, and, if not, on whose nomination, with what examination, and with what salary and average annual expenses Mr. Alfred Tennyson obtained that position; where and when he had acquired the qualifying knowledge and experience in local government; what had been his salary before this appointment; and whether he is one of the salaried officials intended to be maintained and pensioned out of Irish revenue under the Government of Ireland Bill?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
Persons temporarily employed as inspectors under the Local Government Board occasionally obtain permanent appointments if they prove themselves fully competent. No examinations are prescribed for temporary inspectors, and local government officials are eligible for such appointments. Mr. Tennyson, who had previously passed a first-class Civil Service examination, was employed temporarily in connection with the Old 1171 Age Pensions Act by the Vice-President of the Local Government Board at a time when there was great pressure in the Department charged with the administration of that Act, and is still attached to that Department. His salary is £350 a year with the usual travelling allowances. He is not pensionable, and is in the same position as regards the Irish Government as other temporary officers who can be removed at any time.
§ Mr. GINNELL
Will the right hon. Gentleman say is this the same person whom the Chief Secretary as President of the Board of Education appointed Junior Examiner to that Board, and who before his probationary period had expired, resigned in order to avoid dismissal.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
No, Sir. Really I think that is not a fair way of dealing with a young man, even though he may happen to have the misfortune of being a relative of mine. He started his official life by passing with great distinction an examination for a clerkship in the House of Lords. Finding that office not sufficient for his energies, he desired to be transferred to the Board of Education, which he could only be on terms of probation. He was there for a short time, when I am sorry to say, his health broke down. He went away and resided for a year farming in British Columbia. He returned perfectly restored in health, and without any operation or movement on my part the Vice-President of the Irish Local Government Board gave him this purely temporary appointment, from which he could be dismissed on a week's notice, in the Old Age Pensions Department. He has there conducted himself exceedingly well, and has won very good reports. I only wish the hon. Member discharged his duties equally well.