§ MR. DONAL SULLIVAN (Westmeath, S.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the freights on Irish produce and Irish manufactures charged by Irish Railways are much higher than the charges made by English Railways for the carriage of similar goods; and whether he will direct the attention of the Directors of the Irish Railways to the injury which their charges inflict on the Irish traders?
§ MR. MUNDELLA
The maximum powers conferred by Parliament last Session are not greater in the case of the Irish Railways than in that of English 388 Railways of similar description. As to actual charges, I have no such information as will enable me to answer the hon. Member's question. But all complaints of unreasonable charges will at once receive the careful consideration of the Board of Trade, and the attention of the Directors of Irish Railways will be called to them.
§ MR. W. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that the Irish Railway Companies place the charges for transport in Ireland some 10 to 20 per cent. higher than the English charges? If not, will the right hon. Gentleman institute inquiries to ascertain whether I am right in my statement?
§ MR. MUNDELLA
I am not aware of the fact. If the hon. Gentleman would give specific illustrations I would make inquiries.
§ MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)
Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called to the Report of the Cork Chamber of Commerce on the subject?
§ MR. W. FIELD
May I ask whether, in the event of such evidence as the right hon. Gentleman desires being forthcoming, he will take steps to prevent the Irish Railway Companies levying these taxes on the Irish people?
§ [No answer was given.]