HC Deb 16 April 1885 vol 296 cc1843-4

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Whether the Lords of the Treasury have considered a Memorial addressed to them, on the 14th of January last, by the Sligo Harbour Board, praying that the period fixed for commencing the repayment of the principal of the Treasury loan of £20,000 to them may be deferred; that the term of years in which repayment is to made may be extended; and that the rate of interest charged may be reduced to the lowest practicable terms, in accordance with the recommendation made in the Report of the Select Committee on Harbour Accommodation; whether it appears from the Memorial, and from other information in the possession of the Treasury, that the Board have expended the full amount of the loan in deepening the channel, dredging for deep-water berths, improving the berthage at present quays, and other works of urgent necessity; that very considerable progress has been made with these works; that, owing to the failure of the contractors to execute their contract, the Harbour Board have been obliged to undertake the completion of the works with their own staff and plant; and that, as no improvement in revenue can result from the works until they are completed, and as the existing terms of the loan would necessitate the payment of £1,700 a-year, out of a revenue of only about £6,000, which barely allows the requisite margin for prosecuting the works, the Board will be constrained to abandon the effort to complete the works in which they are now engaged, and to give up the hope of improving the portal revenue, unless the Treasury terms are relaxed; and, whether the Treasury will grant the terms prayed for in the Memorial of the Board?


I understand that the Sligo Harbour works will be inspected to-day at low water spring tides. The Board of Works hope to be able to make their Report to the Treasury in about 10 days' time, and it will be dealt with here without delay. With reference to the Question of which the hon. Member has given Notice for tomorrow, I may say that the sole object of the engineer's visit is to enable the Treasury to decide on the questions raised in the Memorial, not to interfere with the Harbour Commissioners in the discharge of their duties; and, this being so, it would not be right to incur the expense of engaging a special engineer to report as the Question appears to suggest.