HC Deb 05 June 1883 vol 279 cc1759-60

asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, If his attention has been called to the following remarks reported in The Clare Examiner as having been made by Mr. Richard Stackpoole, J.P., at the County Clare Presentment Sessions, held at Ennis, on Tuesday, May 22— Mr. Stackpoole,—As I see it is the wish of the people I will sign it (i.e., the contract for the Ennis and West Glare Railway) when I see my co-directors. We took the greatest possible trouble in this matter. We had an interview with the Lord Lieutenant, and went to London and saw Mr. Childers, who said the contract was an immoral one. Whether it is a fact that the right hon. Gentleman has used the expression attributed to him; and, if so, whether he has any objection to state the grounds upon which he based the assertions?


Sir, I have to say that in the long interview which I had with the Directors and officials of the West Clare Railway I do not remember that the word "immoral" was used by myself, or by anyone else, as applicable to their contemplated contract. The facts, as stated to me, were as follows:—The Railway would be 26½ miles long and be constructed on the 3 feet gauge, and its cost in cash would be about £150,000. I was informed that by the Act under which it was proposed to be constructed, the capital was to be £255,000, of which £95,000 were to be ordinary shares of little value, £75,000 shares, the interest on which would be guaranteed by certain baronies, and £85,000, debenture capital, to be lent by Her Majesty's Government. The contractor, whose name was not disclosed, would take the whole shares, guaranteed or not, and the amount lent by the Government. I said on behalf of Her Majesty's Government that I would be no party to an arrangement of this kind, but that if the capital was to be £150,000 —that is to say, £100,000 share capital guaranteed by the baronies, and £50,000 loan capital—I would favourably consider any recommendation by the Irish Board of Works to lend the £50,000 on the usual terms.