(To the Editor.)
Sir,—In your issue of the 25th of May there appeared a letter from the secretary of the newly formed Institute of Stock Inspectors and P.P. Board officials, in which I am credited with certain remarks in criticism towards same. Insofar as such statements go they are correct; but Mr. Bluet's questions just happen to cease where, to my mind, and the ratepayers' generally, the most vital point of my alleged attack commenced. After I had explained that the stock owners had to find the money and should have a say through their representatives on the Board in the adjustment of salaries, I went on to remark that no objection would be made, without this association, to the salary suggested, if the stock inspector carried out the duties for which he was appointed under the Act and regulations. To my mind, I stated, our inspector did not carry out his duties as an inspector, which Mr. Bluet forgot to mention was as an outdoor man, and was supposed to visit all holdings in his district to inspect the stock at least once a year. An inspector's duties are clearly defined in the regulations under the Act, and supplemented from the Chief Inspector of Stock, particularly mentioning the facts as stated by me. Of course, it is well known that an inspector is appointed by the Governor, and his salary is also determined by the Governor; but it was apparently thought by the framers of the Act that the Board was the better to judge an officer, when another section was provided for and gave the Board power to suspend an inspector and payment of his salary, with the approval of the Minister. Under the said Act, an Inspector, although under the control of the Minister, is to carry out any instructions given him by the Board, when same do not conflict with the Ministerial instructions, and this particular regulation is again quoted in the circular issued by the Department to the Board, and previously mentioned by me. Consequently, I contend that an inspector is as much an officer of the Board as any of the other officers employed. If an inspector fails to observe the instructions of the Board, he has to immediately inform the Chief Inspector of Stock and the chairman of the Board the reason of his doing so.
In conclusion I might state that I have always tried to represent the ratepayers faithfully and to watch their interests generally, but this I do say, that the duties as defined to the Inspector by the Act and other instruction issued, are not carried out and that the Inspector does not put 10 per cent. of his time around the district and the proposal to increase the salary of this officer is certainly one that the Board should direct. If Mr. Bluet were here his most vital objection to my remarks in salary would be toned down a great deal until at least myself and the ratepayers were assured that we were getting in return something for the salary for which we are taxed to keep this officer in his present position. If Stock Inspectors were vetinary (sic) surgeons they would have a right to expect a higher salary. I thank Mr. Bluet for having written the letter when the election was on, as it helped him greatly to be returned.
J. J. SULLIVAN.