COLONEL SATTNDERSON (Armagh, N.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If it is a fact that the River Bann at Portadown Bridge has been allowed to fill up to such an extent that there is now only one arch of the bridge available for either drainage or navigation, and that, in consequence, the land on the south side of the bridge suffers from flooding in wet seasons; and, if so, what steps the Government will take to have this evil remedied; whether part of the £50,000 set apart for the drainage of the River Bann should be expended on the Upper Bann, in the neighbourhood of Portadown; and, whether, should the water in the Lower Bann, as is proposed, be lowered five or six feet, the Government will cause the bed of the Upper Bann to be lowered a corresponding depth, so that the water traffic may not be interfered with?
THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN)(who replied) said (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
Neither the Government nor the Royal Commission have any special information as to the state of the bridge at Portadown; but I understand that if it has been allowed to fill up as stated, any sufferer from floods due to this cause should complain to the Local Drainage Board, the matter not being one for which a grant of public money would be justifiable, nor one over which the Government have any control. The proposals for dealing with the Lower Bann will not injure the water traffic at Portadown, as it is not proposed to reduce the summer level of Lough Neagh; but they will, by preventing the lake from rising in time of flood, as it now does, relieve the low-lying lands in the neighbourhood of that town.