asked the President whether he is aware (1) that in the case of a recent local appointment in County Monaghan, where two of the three candidates belonged to the district, three local persons were appointed to act as a Selection Board; (2) that the people of the county, while satisfied that the Appointments Commission should make the choice, were utterly opposed to any local Selection Board; and whether, to secure greater confidence in the system of selection, other than local persons will in future be appointed to act on Selection Boards.

The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative; the Selection Board consisted of two medical practitioners with a chairman, all residents of Monaghan. It has been the practice to arrange the venues for Selection Boards so as to suit as far as possible the convenience of candidates; and for such appointments as nurses and midwives it would be undesirable to confine the venues to the cities. The Local Appointments Commissioners are satisfied that in all cases the work of the Selection Boards, local and central, has been carried out with the utmost impartiality. They agree, however, that where possible boards should not consist wholly of local persons, and consequently they will endeavour to secure that, outside the city venues, no board will consist exclusively of residents of the district in which the vacancy exists.

Would the Minister not consider the advisability of dispensing altogether with local boards and have the appointments made by the Commissioners and, if necessary, give them technical advice in regard to technical qualifications?

That is a matter largely for the Commissioners. I do not see how the Commissioners could dispense with appointments by Selection Boards. I understand that is the suggestion of the Deputy. They themselves have not the necessary technical qualifications to decide matters of that kind.

I suggest that they should be empowered to get expert advice from those who are able to give it.

That is what I set out in answer to the question.