HC Deb 20 June 1893 vol 13 cc1471-2
MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury is he aware that a writ of mandamus peremptorily was served on the Town Clerk of Kinsale at the suit of the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland; has the attention of the Commissioners been called to an affidavit made by Mr. O'Neill, the Chairman of the Town Commissioners, in which it is stated that the Town and Harbour Commissioners do not desire to evade their liability in any particular, but, having regard to the impoverished state of the town, it would be impossible for them to collect a rate sufficient to pay off the amount now asked, which would represent at least 6s. in the £1; and whether, under these circumstances, the Board of Works are prepared to make such concession as will enable the Kinsale Commissioners to meet the annual charge?


The statement in the first paragraph is correct. I can express no opinion upon the allegations in paragraph 2, except that they appear to be inconsistent with the proposal in the last paragraph, which apparently contemplates no arrangements for the discharge of any of the arrears now amounting to £1,980. Satisfactory arrangements for the discharge of the arrears must be a condition precedent to any measure of relief; and I cannot go beyond the proposal made in my answer of March 7 last.


But, bearing in mind that the fishing industry has migrated from the district which is now in a state of absolute depression, and seeing that a rate of 6s. in the £1 will absolutely crush the town, will not the Treasury make further inquiry into the matter?


I have made inquiry, and I am informed that the rates at present amount to only 2s. 7d. in the £1.

MR. SEXTON (Kerry, N.)

But if it be true that the arrangement insisted on by the Treasury means a rate of 6s. in the £1, will the right hon. Gentleman persevere in a course which means bankruptcy to a Public Body? Will he not consider whether some means cannot be provided which will prevent that? It seems almost impossible to raise the sum demanded.


I have no desire to be hard on the Commissioners, but they must do something to meet this liability.


If the Commissioners make a further proposal, will the right hon. Gentleman have any objection to postponing proceedings on the mandamus?


I will consider that.