HC Deb 24 May 1852 vol 121 cc1049-50

begged to ask the right hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in the event of railway companies having paid up a certain proportion of their capital, and complied with certain conditions to be named by the Government, the Government was willing to make advances by way of loan to railway companies in Ireland; and whether the right hon. Gentleman was prepared to state what the conditions were which he required to be complied with before making such advances?


The conditions precedent upon which loans can be contracted by railway companies, are contained in the Act of Parliament by which those railway companies are formed; and the conditions on which Her Majesty's Government have made these advances, when the conditions precedent have been complied with, have been to make loans by instalments through the medium of Exchequer Bills. Their duty is to make the loans by instalments, and to see, when every new instalment is made, that a sum equal to that instalment has also been defrayed from the funds of the company. In this manner a sum above 1,200,000l. has already been advanced by the Treasury; and I am bound to say, the interest and the instalments have been all duly and precisely paid. Besides that 1,200,000l. there has been a sum of 500,000l. advanced to the Irish Great Western Railway by virtue of their special Act. With regard to the question of my hon. Friend, having made these remarks, I must observe that this is an abstract question, and I am unwilling to give an abstract reply on such a subject. But if my hon. Friend will call at the Treasury with any particular instance, and lay before the Treasury all the details of that instance, we shall give that instance that consideration which we have always given to others, and we shall act in a way which we think will tend to the general welfare, and give such assistance to Irish enterprise as we may think desirable.