I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he can state who conducts the examinations held at the Custom House, Dublin, for candidates appointed by the county councils to the positions of assistant surveyor in Ireland; in what subjects the candidates are examined; and is the examination conducted in the same way, and are the subjects the same, or have they been increased, or has the standard for obtaining a certificate been raised since the coming into operation of the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898.
The examinations are conducted by the Engineering Department of the Local Government Board. The subjects of examination in the case of persons not professionally qualified are English composition, arithmetic, mensuration, building construction, construction and maintenance of roads, chain levelling and surveying. The questions set in these subjects are of an elementary character. Before the Act of 1898 came into operation, the examinations were conducted at the office of the Board of Works, and the subjects were mensuration, chain levelling, road and drainage works, surveying, and estimates for works.
Have the subjects increased in numbers since the Local Government Board came into operation, and is it because the candidates are now Nationalists, whereas formerly they were Unionists?