HC Deb 19 March 1886 vol 303 cc1353-4
MR. COX (Clare, E.)

asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether his attention has been called to the following Resolution, passed at a meeting held on the 11th instant at the Mansion House, Dublin, presided over by the Right honourable the Lord Mayor, M.P., and at which His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was present, and took part in the proceedings:— That in our opinion the best means whereby relief may be afforded to unemployed and destitute persons at the present time is the inauguration and carrying out of works of public utility; and we earnestly urge upon the Government the necessity of instructing the Departments which have the control of public funds to afford all reasonable facilities for the prompt commencement of such undertakings; whether he has heard that the works of the West Clare Railway, already partially suspended, in consequence of the delay in obtaining the loan which has been subject of negotiations with the Irish Board of Works since June last, are now for the same cause about to be stopped altogether; whether he is aware that the proposed security consists of shares guaranteed four per cent. interest in perpetuity by the county of Clare, in addition to a mortgage of the undertaking; whether certain technical legal obstacles raised by the Board of Works were declared by three eminent Counsel (all of them present or past Law Officers of the Crown) to be either non-existent or easily overcome; and did those Counsel in November last agree on a scheme to enable the matter to be carried out; whether satisfactory evidence has been given that the Railway will be duly completed if the loan is granted, and has the personal bond of the directors been offered to secure its completion; whether practical effect will be given in this instance to the above quoted resolution; and, will this work be at once resumed?


My attention had been previously called to this resolution passed at the Mansion House meeting. I am not aware that there is any danger of the works of the railway being stopped for want of funds. The question of the security for the loan is one for the Board of Works. The sufficiency of the security for the completion of the loan is, and has been, for some time engaging the attention of the Treasury; and, as far as is consistent with their duty, there is no desire to throw any obstacle in the way of this railway, and there will be no unavoidable delay in coming to a decision about it.