CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - FINANCES OF WESTMEATH CO. COUNCIL.

SEAN O LAIDHIN

asked the Minister for Local Government and Public Health whether he can give the assets and liabilities of the Westmeath County Council under the following headings: (1) Liabilities, (a) Overdraft in Bank and when incurred, (b) instalments of demands to various subsidiary bodies in detail, (c) full amount of outstanding loans and for what purpose they were used; (2) Assets, (a) Amount of outstanding recoverable rates, (b) grants due or accruing for period ending September 30th, 1925, (c) the estimated positions of the Council at the end of the financial year, and (3) the amount of irrecoverable rates.

The answer is in the negative.

Am I to take it that the Minister can give no account of the financial condition of the Westmeath County Council?

That is right.

Is it not the duty of the Minister's Department to look after the interests of such councils and to be fully acquainted with all the facts concerning the councils, such as loans and the amount of liabilities?

It is, but not to act as a bureau for information for the Deputy.

Will the Minister consider the advisability of superseding this particular County Council?

I am not particular whether he does or not. I put down the question in the ordinary way and I think that the least I could expect is a reply from the Minister. He is supposed to know all about the working of such councils, and the least I could expect is to get a reply. Surely, the Minister must have some information or, at least, have been able to get it since the question was handed in eight days ago.