§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)
asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, What official decided on the proposed allocation of the £50,000 to Ireland; were any Irish Members consulted; if so, who were they; why are the Antrim and Derry Grand Juries to be consulted as to the Bann drainage; why are the recommendations of two Royal Commissions on the subject of the Bann to be disregarded; is he aware that the gravest dissatisfaction prevails as to the inadequacy of the proposed works on the Bann; and, can he hold out any hope 1162 that the recommendations of the two Royal Commissions will be followed, or that the local sufferers from flooding will be consulted on the proposed expenditure?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN) (St. George's, Hanover Square)
The allocation of the £50,000 has been the work of the Government, acting mainly on the advice of, and in frequent communication with, the Royal Commission. In allocating the money the Government have not disregarded the views of Irish Members, so far as these could be gathered from the Questions, mostly of a polemical character, addressed to them in this House. A direct invitation was given by the Chief Secretary and myself to the political friends of the hon. and learned Member to make any suggestions to the Government on the subject; but it never met with a response. The Grand Juries of Antrim and Derry were consulted because they were the Representative Bodies of the localities that would be affected by the abandonment of the navigation—[Mr. T. M. HEALY: Whom do they represent?]—and because they provide the cost of the maintenance of such navigation. The recommendations of two Royal Commissions have not been disregarded. On the contrary, in consulting the Grand Juries, the Government have precisely followed the recommendations of both Commissions. The works to be undertaken on the Bann this year are also in strict accordance with the recommendations of the Royal Commission. I am not aware of the dissatisfaction alleged by the hon. and learned Member; but I have every reason to believe that the scheme of the Royal Commission, when fully carried out, as it is the intention of the Government to carry it out, will completely relieve the flooded districts.
§ COLONEL WARING (Down, N.)
asked if the Grand Juries of the County Tyrone and Armagh, who were large contributors to the scheme, had been consulted?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR) (Manchester, E.)
said, that, as he understood, the reason why the Grand Juries were consulted was because without their consent the works could not be carried out.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
gave Notice that when the Vote for the allocation of the 1163 money came on for discussion, he would call attention to the ridiculous and inadequate proposals of the right hon. Gentleman so far as the Bann was concerned, which would involve a complete and gross waste of public money without the smallest benefit to anybody.