§ SIR CHARLES LEWIS (Antrim, N.)
I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland if he is aware of the circumstances under which the Grand Jury of Galway, at the Spring Assizes just held, made a presentment in favour of a railway between Galway and Clifden on either a broad or narrow guage system upon a Report from the Commissioners of the Board of Works, Ireland, the Government to advance in the one case £244,600, and in the other case £219,000, the country guaranteeing only £1,000 in aid of such railway; whether he is aware of the Minute recorded by the Grand Jury of Galway, expressing its regret that the negotiations entered into between five of the members of the Grand Jury as a Committee and the Chairman and Directors of the Midland Great Western Railway Company of Ireland fell through; whether he is aware that the Grand Jury, in consequence of the advice of Mr. Barton, C.E., stated that they felt bound to pass a perfectly open presentment, but that they also wished to express their earnest desire that the pro-motors and the Government might come to some arrangement which would secure the maintenance and working of the railway by the Midland Great Western Railway Company; whether he is aware that the Chairman and Directors of the Midland Great Western Railway Company had expressed themselves unreservedly to the Grand Jury, that having regard to the defective mode in which the projected line had been laid, and notwithstanding the modifications suggested and allowed by Mr. Barton and embodied in the Commissioners' Report, that their company would never undertake the working and maintenance thereof; and whether Her Majesty's Government would, under the foregoing circumstances, direct an independent inquiry as to the projected undertakings for giving railway accom- 392 modation from Galway to Clifden, under the supervision of the Board of Trade, before payment of any public money is authorised to be made for the construction of railways in Galway?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. MADDEN,) University of Dublin
The facts are as stated in the first four paragraphs of the question. With regard to the suggestion made by my hon. Friend in the last paragraph, Her Majesty's Government do not see that any advantage would be derived through holding an additional inquiry, the former inquiries in the matter having been of the most exhaustive character.