CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - SALARIES OF DISTRICT MIDWIVES.

To ask the Minister for Local Government why the salaries of two Dispensary district midwives in Co. Meath, formerly employed by the Dunshaughlin Board of Guardians, one of whom had 17½ years service, have been reduced from £80 a year to £67, while a salary of £80 was sanctioned one and a half years ago to a midwife appointed to another district in Dunshaughlin Union at that time, and if he considers the reduction just treatment of old officials.

It is not correct to state that the salaries legally payable to the two dispensary midwives in the Dunshaughlin Rural District area of the Co. Meath referred to, have been reduced. For some time it appears that these officers were illegally paid at the rate of £80 a year. This was done by the mere direction of the Board of Guardians, and never received sanction of the Central Authority. The third midwife in this area was sanctioned at £80 a year under a misapprehension; this sanction has been withdrawn.

To ask the Minister for Local Government whether that Department has asked the County Meath Hospital and Homes Committee to formulate a scale of salaries for dispensary midwives, and whether he was aware that this had already been done by the Committee in November last, when a scale was agreed upon by the Committee on the one part, and the Irish Nurses and Midwives' Union, on the other part.

The Ministry are aware that the Meath County Home and Hospital's Committee proposed to fix an initial salary for each dispensary midwife of £75 a year. The Ministry consider this salary excessive for these part-time officers, and have requested the Committee to formulate revised scales of salaries.