§ MR. M. BROOKS
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, If it is true that the Government undertook to re- 613 commend to Parliament to grant an annual sum for the maintenance of St. Stephen's Green, Dublin, as a people's park; whether they have communicated to the Lord Mayor and Corporation of the said city the conditions upon which the Government would adopt such a course (if its adoption was to be conditional);and, whether he will lay upon the Table of the House Copies of all Correspondence and documents relating to this subject?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
It is true that the Government undertook to recommend to Parliament the grant of an annual sum for the maintenance of St. Stephen's Green, Dublin, as a people's park. They did so under the following circumstances:—Early last spring the Colleague of the hon. Member (Sir Arthur Guinness) entered into negotiations with the Commissioners of the Green and the Town Council, which resulted in the very handsome offer on his part to pay off a debenture debt of about £2,200 on the Green, and expend £3,000 (afterwards increased to £5,000) on improvements, provided the Commissioners would surrender their exclusive rights in favour of the public. The Corporation, on its part, by a resolution of the 12th of May, agreed to forego the yearly rent of £276 which it is entitled to receive from the Commissioners; and, further, to contribute a moiety of the yearly expense of maintaining the grounds as a park, provided such moiety should not exceed £600 per annum. Thereupon the Government undertook to place the Green under the charge of the Board of Works, and to ask Parliament to vote annually the remaining moiety of the cost of maintenance. A Bill has been prepared to give effect to this arrangement; but I regret to say that I now learn that the Town Council of Dublin are desirous of receding from their share in the agreement, and in that case I fear that the people of that city will be deprived of a much-needed improvement offered them by the liberality of their senior Member. I apprehend that there will be no objection to produce the correspondence, but I should like to examine it first.