I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, having regard to the fact that the District Council of Killydysart, County Clare, were forbidden by the Local Government Board to pay an account due to Mr. Patrick M'Inerney, of Ennis, for timber, and that Mr. M'Inerney sued the District Council of Killydysart at the last quarter sessions and obtained a decree with costs against the district council, whether the Local Government Board will pay these costs incurred by the action of the Local Government Board in Ireland.
The guardians of the Killydysart Union inquired from the Local Government Board whether they could legally pay a sum of money to Mr. M'Inerney for timber supplied between August, 1897, and January, 1899, but for which he did not present his account until August, 1900. The Board informed the guardians that in view of the terms of Section 51 (7) of the Local Government Act, it had no power to extend the time for payment in the case of sums due since the date of passing of the Act, namely, the 12th August, 1898. The action of the Board consisted merely of explaining the limits of its own jurisdiction. The reply to the last query is in the negative.
Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to see that the Inspectors of the Local Government Board do not unnecessarily interfere in these local matters?
I said that we have no power.
But is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that they did interfere?
In view of the fact that costs were incurred in this case owing to the acts of the Local Government Board, will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to have the money refunded to the local authority?
I am afraid I can give no such undertaking. In this case the Board put a query to the Local Government Board, which replied that it had no jurisdiction. I cannot carry the matter any further.