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Limerick City Petitions

31/07/1822

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Petitions Relating to the Local Taxation of the City of Limerick page 1
 
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Limerick City Petitions

Date of Article: 31/07/1822
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No Pages: 1
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iO REPORT FROM THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON f M. Parker, a Hne appears drawn through his name in the dommittee list, no entry App.( A.) Min. Ev. ^ x- sts - t| ie corp, j^ tion books of his resignation or removal* His pre- decessor, the late Lord Gort, appears to have regularly attended the meetings of this committee, and even to have signed the minutes. The other methbers of this committee consist, with two exceptions, of indivu duals closelv connected with the chamberlain himself. Two of the mem- bers of the committee having been delinquents and defaulters themselves, Mr. Parker, ib. are not the best fitted to exercise a vigilant control over the accounts of another. But even to a committee thus constituted the amount of the corporate income, and the receipts of the chamberlain, seem never to be submitted. They are called upon to sanction expenditure, and not to investigate receipt; and with this most singular limitation of duty they do not appear to have met since the 28th . June 1819, and previously to that time their meetings were most uncertain and irregular. The chamberlain's oath of office prescribes, that " he will do right to " all manner of people, both poor and rich ; that he will truly and duly " collect the money due to the corporation, and that he will safely keep " the same, and have the same always to the use and order of the said " corporation, and that he will not waste the same, and that he will make " true account thereof as often as he shall be thereunto required, v/ ithout " concealment." The chamberlain is annually appointed with the mayor, sheriffs and other officers; but whilst the mayors, sheriffs, justices, town clerk and recorder, ( except in one instance with regard to the latter), are invariably sworn into office, it has so happened that the important oath of the chamberlain has been altogether dispensed with; the motive of this most extraordinary omission has not been stated to Your Committee; but Your Committee cannot hesitate in expressing their opinion, that the whole administration of the corporate revenues is liable to the most serious objection. The result has been ( as has already been stated) that sums of money have been applied to objects of the most questionable propriety ; above 1,000/. have been paid for stamps on the admission of freemen in a particular interest; 800/. have been applied in defending the represen- tation of the city before a select committee in 1819 ; and it seems probable that 2,000/. in subsequent years have been devoted to the same purposes; upwards of 7,000/. have been appropriated to law costs, chiefly incurred in resisting the claims of the inhabitants to corporate franchises, claims on which both the courts of law and successive committees of the House of Commons had pronounced a decisive and a favourable opinion. How far such expenditure corresponds with the public uses for which the revenues were granted, Your Committee leave it to the House to determine. Supra. Contingent Ex- penses, App. ( B) Mr. Parker, App. ( A.) Min. Ev. With regard to the statements in the petition of the inhabitants of the city of Limerick, respecting the mismanagement of some of the city charities, Your Committee find, from the accounts furnished by the chamberlain, that the allowance to the widows almshouses appears, except in one single and unimportant instance, to have been punctually paid. The town clerk admits that remonstrances have been once or twice made to him, in consequence of delays in paying this charity. Respecting two other establishments, Hall and Craven's schools, Your Committee have been favoured with an immediate, clear and accurate return from the Lord Bishop of Limerick. Some account of these schools is to be found in the Thirteenth Report of the Irish Commissioners of Education, ( re- printed 7th December 1819), a document which can never be alluded to without feelings of gratitude and veneration for the enlightened and i. * ^ benevolent
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