I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether a regular standard of examination has been decided on by the Local Government Board of Ireland for gentlemen appointed to the position of secretaries to county councils; and, if so, will he state what that standard is; and whether councils which prior to the decision of the Court of Appeal in the Wexford case entered into agreements with officials under a misconception of their legal status will be permitted to reopen and reconsider such cases.
A person to be eligible for this position must be over twenty-one years of age, and must possess the qualifications prescribed by the General Order of 11th December, 1899. In the absence of these qualifications he is required to undergo an examination in English composition, elementary arithmetic, handwriting, the Local Government Act, and Orders and Accounts. In reply to the second paragraph, I can only suggest again that we should await the result of the Wexford Inquiry.
Is there no fixed standard? That is the point of my question.
I have given the hon. Gentleman the syllabus of the subjects candidates are required to pass.
Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to see that these examinations are conducted by men properly qualified for the duty?
I will look into the matter to see if there is any doubt on that point.