§ MR. TUITE (Westmeath, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the extensive drainage works carried out on the Upper Inny, County Westmeath, about 17 years ago, at a cost of over ?55,000, are to a great extent useless, owing to the silting up of the Lower Inny, causing back water to inundate the eastern end of the Upper Inny District for a considerable portion of the year, and that from the want of a proper outfall through the Lower Inny the area of land flooded yearly has largely increased since the completion of the works; have any representations on the subject been made to the Board of Works by the Upper Inny Drainage Board, with the view of having the obstructions on the Lower Inny removed; and, if not, is it in the power of the Board of Works to take independent action in the matter; whether, in the meantime, he will take any steps to relieve the occupiers in the inundated districts from the Drainage Tax, from which they derive no benefit whatever, but who, on the contrary, suffer heavily by the overflow of the river at that point; and can he state what proportion of the cess levied for the said works is paid by the occupier?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. JACKSON, Leeds, N.)
I am informed by the Board of Works that no complaint has been made to them by the Upper Inny Drainage Board. It is not in the power of the Board of Works to take independent action in the matter, but if the works are not properly maintained they have power to interfere. They have no power to relieve the occupiers from the Drainage Tax. No part of the cess levied for the works is paid by the occupiers, it being all paid by the owners, but the Board are unable to say what amount of increased rent, if any, the occupiers pay to the owners for the benefit their lands derive from the works.