HC Deb 16 September 1893 vol 17 cc1430-47

13. £15,177, to complete the sum for Temporary Commissions.

SIR T. ESMONDE (Kerry, W.)

said, that on this Vote he wished to draw attention to the way in which the Irish Congested Districts Board discharged its duties. During the past 12 months he had laid a number of schemes for the construction of piers, and so forth, before the Board, but so far nothing had come of it, although during the past 12 mouths they had had ample opportunity for considering the schemes. He had had a correspondence with the Board respecting a pier at the Magharees, County Kerry. He would not read the whole of it, but he would go through a portion to show how the work of the Congested Districts Board was conducted. In August last year he forwarded to the Board a Memorial praying for the construction of a pier at the Magharees. On the 16th August, 1892, he received this reply— I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated the 15th instant, in support of a Memorial from the fishermen of the Magharees, County Kerry, praying for the construction of a fishery pier, and to state that it shall be brought before the Congested Districts Board. He wrote again, and received this letter of 19th September— I am directed by the Congested Districts Board to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 15th instant, and to inform you that no decision with respect to the construction of a pier at Magharees has yet been arrived at. He wrote again, and received the following reply on the 30th September— In reply to your letter of the 28th instant, I beg to state that I am not in a position to say when a decision as to the proposed pier at Magharees will be made by the Congested Districts Board for Ireland. I shall place your letter before the Board at its next meeting. He wrote again, and received the following, dated 14th December:— I am directed to inform you that works mentioned by you were discussed minutely by the members of the Board at their recent meetings, but no final decision has yet been arrived at. He wrote again in February, 1893, and this was the answer, dated February 7— I am directed by the Congested Districts Board for Ireland to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant, and to state that. … they regret that they are not yet able to inform you definitely which of the proposed works in County Kerry will be constructed. He wrote again, and on March 22 received the following:— I am directed by the Congested Districts Board to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 16th instant, and to inform you that they are not yet in a position to state definitely their decision as to the proposed pier at the Magharees, County Kerry. He wrote again, and on March 30 received this answer— With reference to your letter of the 23rd instant as to the proposed pier at Magharees, I regret that I am not authorised to make a more definite statement than that contained in previous correspondence. He wrote again in April, and on April 20 received this answer— I am directed by the Congested Districts Board for Ireland to inform you that they are not yet able to state what they will do in reference to the proposed marine works at the Magharees. He wrote in June, and on the 22nd of that month received the following:— I am directed by the Congested Districts Board for Ireland to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 13th instant, and to state that they are not yet able to state definitely what action will be taken by them about the proposed pier at Scraggane. He wrote again, and, on August 3rd, received this— I am directed by the Congested Districts Board for Ireland to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 2nd instant, and to state that no decision has yet been arrived at as to the building of a pier at Scraggane Bay. He wrote again, and on the 24th August received the following:— I am directed by the Congested Districts Board for Ireland to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 22nd instant, and to state that they have not yet finally decided upon building a pier at Scraggane Bay, County Kerry. He had another letter dated 13th September, 1893, as follows:— I am directed by the Congested Districts Board for Ireland to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 11th instant, and to state. … the Board's Marine Engineer is at present engaged in making some surveys along the West Coast of Kerry, and the Board now await his Report. This might be very fine fooling, but it certainly was not business. He could assure the Government that unless they gave satisfactory consideration to the various schemes brought before them it would be necessary to trouble the House at considerable length on these subjects. It was ludicrous to say that a body of this kind should not be able to decide within 12 mouths whether they would spend £200 or £300 or not on a certain object. The question was really one whether the Irish Government would insist upon the Board paying more attention to the representations of Irish Members. He had submitted a number of schemes to the Board on behalf of his constituents in West Kerry. In addition to the pier he had first spoken of, a landing place was needed in the Great Blasket Islands, and there were a number of rocks in the mouths of creeks which ought to be removed, as they very easily could be, because they blocked up harbours.


This is a matter which I think ought to have been brought forward on the consideration of the Chief Secretary's salary, as he is the Chairman of the Congested Districts Board. In my right hon. Friend's absence, I am not able to deal specifically with the subject. I can only say I have much sympathy with my hon. Friend in the difficulties he has experienced in obtaining the consent of the Congested Districts Board to his proposals. I know, from my own experience of the work of that Board, that they have a great amount of work to do, but at the same time I think it is desirable that the Board should, whenever they can, assist in the formation of piers and the improvements of harbours, where such improvements are needed. I will bring the matter before my right hon. Friend, and ask him to give attention to the complaints the hon. Baronet has made.

SIR C. W. DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

said, this Vote was one which had always aroused discussion, because it furnished the only opportunity of calling in question the practice of appointing Commissions to get out of difficulties. A great number of the Commissions which were appointed certainly did no good whatever to the country. They produced great masses of evidence which were never read. Statements of the highest importance by the most competent persons, which, if published in the newspapers, would attract much attention, secured no attention whatever if they were buried in the Report of a Commission. Two kinds of Commissions were provided for in the Vote—Executive Commissions and Inquiry Commissions. The Colonisation Board was one of the Executive Commissions. He did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland (Sir G. Trevelyan) thought that any expenditure on behalf of that Board ought to be continued, inasmuch as the Commission had been a total failure. With regard to the Highlands and Islands Commission, as far as he could make out, it was going over again ground which had been covered by previous inquiries. It seemed to him to be a waste of public money to repeat an inquiry which took place only a few years ago. A great number of Commissions were now being promised almost from week to week. [Cries of "No!"] Hon. Gentlemen dissented, but he had heard of three or four within the last few weeks. He supposed that the item in the Vote respecting Commissions not specifically provided for included the Agricultural Commission. Two-thirds of his constituents were agriculturists, and he knew their opinion was, as his opinion was, that the Agricultural Commission was a mere fraud, and was not likely to lead to any good result. It was a mere pretence of doing something. He should not himself divide the Committee upon it, but if any gentleman opposite did he should certainly vote with him, because he thought the time had come when Members should raise their protest against the continued reference of inquiries to Commissions, the usual result of whose proceedings was merely to produce a great mass of evidence which nobody read.

SIR J. GORST (Cambridge University)

entirely agreed with the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down as to the entire uselessness of Royal Commissions, and should like to add that when the House chose to have a Royal Commission the least it could do was to pay for it. Amongst the Commissions dealt with in the Vote was one appointed in consequence of the views expressed by the House for the purpose of making a very expensive inquiry into the consumption of opium in India. He understood the arrangement the Government had made was that half the costs of that Commission should be paid by the taxpayers of this country and the other half should be imposed upon the impoverished taxpayers of India, who did not want a Commission of the kind, and would gain nothing whatever by its inquiry. He intended to raise this question upon the Indian Budget.

MR. LODER (Brighton)

remarked that the Vaccination Commission, which was appointed four and a-half years ago, had at present only presented a short interim Report. He hoped the President of the Local Government Board would urge the Commission to prepare their full Report at the earliest moment. The evidence taken had now become so voluminous that he should think that hardly anybody would take the trouble to read it. As to the Colonisation Board, he did not entirely agree with what had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir C. W. Dilke). It was perfectly true that the settlement made in 1889 had not been at all a success, but, at the same time, the 30 families who were settled at a place called Killarney in Manitoba in 1888 had done comparatively well according to the last Report.


I cannot speak as to the Scotch Commission, but I should like to answer the question put to me about the Vaccination Commission. The other night, when the Vote was taken on the Local Government Board, I expressed the opinion that it was of the greatest importance that the Vaccination Commission should report as soon as possible, and I quite agree with what the hon. Gentleman opposite has said on the subject. The position, however, is that the Commission has felt it its duty this year to inquire into certain outbreaks of small-pox which had taken place recently. I think the inquiry will come to an end very shortly, and I hope to have the Report on the general question this year. Certainly any influence I possess shall be used with the object of getting the Report as soon as possible. I must express my dissent from the conclusion at which my right hon. Friend (Sir C. W. Dilke) has arrived on the subject of Royal Commissions generally. There are Commissions and Commissions, and no one knows better than he does that some of the most valuable legislation this House has ever passed has been recommended by Royal Commissions. My right hon. Friend must also remember the pressure that is put upon the Government week after week to appoint Commissions, and that the Commissions actually appointed bear a very small proportion to those we are asked to appoint. As to the amount of the evidence which appears in the Reports of Royal Commissions, it must be borne in mind that the evidence really forms the basis of the conclusion at which a Commission arrives, and it is, of course, necessary to give with the Report the evidence on which it is based. I may say that the Commission on the Aged Poor is bringing its labours to a very rapid conclusion, and I hope that the Report will be laid on the Table before the next Session—not the Autumn Session, but the next Session—commences.


agreed with his right hon. Friend (Sir J. Gorst) that it was too bad to put even a fraction of the cost of the Opium Commission on the Revenues of India. The Commission was never asked for by the Government of India, or by the people of India, and be believed that if the truth were known it was very much objected to by the people of India. Under these circumstances, he thought that to charge the cost of the Commission on the Indian taxpayers was unworthy of the generosity of this Imperial Parliament.


concurred in the opinion expressed by his right hon. Friend (Sir C. W. Dilke) that a great many Royal Commissions were shams and frauds on the nation. In a great many cases they were appointed for the purpose of putting matters off, and sometimes for electioneering purposes, as was the case with the Labour Commission two years ago. As he understood, the main object of the Colonisation Board was to drive away from Scotland the crofter population in order to make room for deer, so that Londoners might amuse themselves in the autumn. He hoped to hear from the Secretary for Scotland that something would be done in the direction of emigrating the deer instead of driving the people from their country. The crofters were anxious to have the land and till it, and they were prepared to pay a fair rent for it; and the land should surely be used for the people, instead of for deer. Then, he agreed with the right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean that the Deer Forests Commission was of no use whatever. Everyone knew what was wanted, but it was necessary to put off the question for a time. But the worst of it was that it was put off not only to the detriment of the crofters, but at a waste of public money. He had to complain that one of the Commissioners, apparently in the interests of the landlords of Scotland, was a paid Commissioner; that he got five guinea's a day and one guinea allowance; and that he was allowed a vote. They were informed that the Commission themselves had allowed this payment; but without the vote of this particular Commissioner, and the casting vote of the Chairman, the resolution would not have been carried. He submitted that if a paid Commissioner was to be put on this Commission there should have been one on each side, and that the crofters should have had a paid representative on the Commission just as this land agent was. Nothing had been done during the present Session to assist the crofters, who had waited patiently for the advent of a Liberal and Radical Government; and they did not know when the Commission was going to report. He hoped they would have an assurance that the Government were going to do something for the crofters. He had personal experience that they were a most deserving, hard-working people. They had been during the Session trying to do justice to the Irish people. [Laughter.] Hon. Members might laugh; but he came there with a sincere desire to do justice in that matter. He hoped the claims of the crofters would not be forgotten. They had waited very patiently. He had laid the facts before the Committee; and he felt sure the Secretary for Scotland, if the Government would allow him, would do something. The patience of the crofters deserved some recognition at the hands of the Government, and he repeated that he hoped to have an assurance on the point.


Mr. Mellor, the hon. Gentleman and the right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean have asked me why this Commission is kept up, and the right hon. Baronet has described the Colonisation Commission as a deplorable failure. Well, Sir, the Report of the Colonisation Board will be before the House very soon, and Members will then be able to judge whether the remarks of the right hon. Member for the Forest of Dean are well founded. All I can say is that when that Report is before hon. Members, I think it will be many a long year before a Government will undertake a scheme of State Colonisation. Both colonies sent out have proved failures. The colony of Saltcoats has been reduced from 49 families to 18 already; and in the case of the colony of Killarney, where the people were said to be fairly flourishing, none of the instalments which became due last autumn have been paid. But that is not all. The very moderate municipal taxes have not been paid by 35 of the crofters of Killarney, who were said to be so flourishing. Their houses and farms have been put up for sale, and have actually been bought in by the Municipality, and the tenants were now, he imagined, very much in the position of caretakers. That would give some idea of what the state of matters is.


What is the cost?


The matter comes very much to this—and it will give the Committee some idea of what State emigration is when conducted by well-meaning men with ample funds. I believe that the people who were sent out were not natural emigrants; and not only so, but that even when they had energy and self-reliance, they were so cockered up under this system that they lost it, and did not consider it an obligation even to pay their taxes. There were no emigrants from the Highlands for whom Parliament voted this money to emigrate. Last year invitations were sent to all the congested districts from which this class of emigrant had been drawn. Those invitations were drawn up in the Gaelic language, yet there was not one single family which presented itself from any of those districts from which Parliament intended the emigrants to be drawn. That is the state of affairs, and I think Parliament will consider that the Government are quite right in suspending their action in the matter and suspending that action certainly, so far as I am concerned, indefinitely. As to the cost, £20,000 in round figures have been spent on these two colonies, of which £18,000 was from Vote and £2,000 from private subscriptions. The hon. Member and the right hon. Gentleman speaks of the Highlands and Islands Commission.


What is the salary of the gentleman in charge on this side?


The salaries are:—£150 for a gentleman on this side of the water, and £200 for a gentleman on the other side. The gentleman on this side, Mr. Cornier, is attached to the Canadian Agency here, and he conducts the whole correspondence and has the whole matter in hand. He, in fact, is the best representative we have of a strong Executive Board upon the business. In my own opinion, the salaries are all the more necessary on account of the state of things I have mentioned. We need agents and servants for two purposes—one to protect and look after these unfortunate people, and the other for the purpose of protecting the interests of the Government. I may say that there is still some £7,000 of the money which has been voted unspent, and that will more than cover the necessary salaries and expenses of winding up the scheme. The Government have sunk £18,000 in land, all of which is bound to be repaid, and we can get nothing, or little, back when the farms have been sold for the purpose of paying the taxes of the Municipality. Not only is it an unfortunate thing that this scheme of colonisation was set on foot, but that, having been set on foot, it should not have been conducted by the Executive Government. To divide the responsibility of it with a Board was a misfortune. With reference to the Highlands and Islands Commission, the very antipodes of the other, my right hon. Friend did not speak with his usual acumen when he said that the Commission was doing over again the work of former Commissions. Lord Napier's Commission, which worked with very great energy and thoroughness, made recommendations as to what legislation should be carried out for the benefit of the Highlands. But they did not examine and survey the land, whereas this Commission has spent the whole of its time in a very careful and minute examination of land suited for the purpose of the enlargement of crofter holdings. This is entirely different work; it is work that must be done after legislation, even if it were not done before legislation, were passed. At this moment the difficulties of the Commission arise from the resignation of one member, Mr. M'Leod, whose resignation we all regret. Mr. M'Leod has thought it right—he has given no reasons—and I think he is right in that—for his resignation. He has simply stated that it arises from differences in the Commission, and I have no authority to say, on behalf of Mr. M'Leod, or even to conjecture, what those differences are. But it is well-known there has been a difficulty—and I separate this altogether from Mr. M'Leod—about the payment of one of the members of the Commission. But this payment is in accordance with a very general practice of the Treasury, which frequently pays not five guineas, but 10, which is the usual sum paid to professional men conducting such an investigation. That practice has been followed in this case in the person of a very eminent surveyor and valuator, and I am bound to say I did not expect it would raise in any quarter any serious objection. This gentleman has been employed not because he is a landlord's man—I do not know what is meant by that—but because he is an eminent surveyor and valuator. I will not enter into the pros and cons of what that gentleman's political views and leanings are; but he is paid for his professional work, and he has done that work very well. I hope and believe that the Commission will carry on its work to the end, unless, indeed, it should resolve to give a Report soon, and give the Government the benefit of its experience and labours. When that Report does come to hand, I will lose no opportunity of urging on the Government any proposals which may be made for the enlargement of the holdings of the Highland people, and the extension of the advantages of the Crofters Act to leaseholders.


said, it would be interesting to know how it was that the Government did not also appoint a surveyor in the interests of the crofters?


said, the gentleman who was referred to was a surveyor, and he did not represent the interests of the landlords specially. The hon. Gentleman thought the crofters should be more strongly represented on the Commission; but the fact was that he had been charged with giving them too strong a representation on that Body.


said, he wished to refer for a moment to the matter which had been brought forward by the hon. Baronet the Member for Kerry (Sir T. Esmonde). He was anxious to support the contention of the hon. Baronet with regard to the necessity for piers in Kerry and along the West Coast of Ireland generally. He had no doubt that for the purposes of the fisheries such piers would be of the greatest advantage to that part of the country. The Congested Districts Board had very great demands upon them, and very large sums placed at their disposal; but the sums were small enough for the purposes to which they were to be applied, and he was not surprised that this Board was unable to meet all the demands. He hoped the Government would do what they could towards the construction of these piers and the development of the coast industries. There was one other question. He wished to know when they might expect the Report of the Labour Commission?


At the end of this year.


said, that was all he wished to ask.


said, referring to the cost of the Labour Commission, some of the items appeared to him to be exorbitant. Upwards of £4,000 had been paid for salaries and £3,000 for travelling expenses. He thought that the Committee ought to know when this Commission, which seemed to. have withdrawn itself very modestly from the public eye, last held a meeting, and when it proposed to hold another meeting, or whether it was simply engaged in the preparation of its Report?


said, he wished to ask the Secretary for Scotland one question about the funds of the Highlands and Islands Commission. He knew that a difficulty had arisen within the Commission, but he did not desire to press the right hon. Gentleman upon that point. He had his own opinion on the matter. But he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would tell them that the Commission would proceed with its work. As to what the Member for Peterborough (Mr. Morton) had said regarding the land valuer, he (Mr. Whitelaw) thought that the Secretary for Scotland had been quite right in appointing a gentleman of skill independently of whether he held one class of opinions or another. He had no doubt the right hon. Gentleman had taken considerable care to appoint a gentleman whose impartiality he could thoroughly trust, and he thought in the case of expert evidence it was very much better not to put one man against another. He presumed there would be a further Vote for the Commission, and when the Vote was presented next year they would be in possession of the Report and would be in a better position for offering criticism.


In reply to the hon. Member opposite, I desire to say that the public meetings of the Labour Commission concluded some mouths ago, and since then the Commission has been withdrawn from the public eye. Two Committees of the Commission have been preparing Digests of the evidence and summaries of the Reports of foreign countries; and I expect that everything will be ready in time to enable the Commission to meet for the consideration of its Report about the end of next month. It is confidently anticipated that the Report will be presented to Her Majesty before the end of the year.


I wish to say, in reply to the hon. Member for Perth, that the same sum will be on the Estimates next year.

Vote agreed to.

14. Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £1,885, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1894, for certain Miscellaneous Expenses.


said, he objected to the item for Queen's Plates in Ireland, but he would not trouble the Committee by dividing upon it. The item was rejected at one time by the House, the Irish Members voting against it, though they afterwards turned round and supported it.


said, he approved of the Queen's Plates, because they encouraged the breeding of horses. But the item of £6,228 in the Vote seemed to him to be an alarming sum to pay for honours and dignities—for the Lyon King of Arms, the Ulster King of Arms, the State Trumpeters, and Kettle Drummers. He was far from advocating the abolition of these honours and dignities, or of heraldic distinctions, for he thought them of interest and importance, but he thought those who desired such distinctions should pay the cost themselves, just as coats of arms on carriages were charged for. He was shocked that an eminent Radical like the right hon. Member for the Forest of Dean should pass these things by and object to the Queen's Plates. He was also shocked that the most Radical of Radical Governments, which had been returned pledged to economy, did not begin by doing away with this entirely unnecessary and foolish expenditure. £2,000 were paid for this nonsense and frippery. There was one matter in the Vote to which he particularly desired to call the attention of Members from Ireland. He found that whilst the cost of the installation of the Knight of the Order of St. George was £440, the cost of the installation of a Knight of St. Patrick was only £40. If that was not a wrong and an insult to Ireland he did not know what was. St. Patrick was put at only one-tenth the value of St. George. It appeared to be perfectly monstrous. He found that every Knight of the Garter paid £700 or £800 for the honour conferred on him. The Collar and the George cost £265. The Garter itself cost £30 16s. Every Knight of the Garter had also to buy three pairs of hose at a cost of £7 10s. If he were to become a Knight of the Garter he should certainly object to pay £2 10s. a pair for his stockings. The Knight's two pieces of Garter ribbon cost £13 1s. That ribbon was extremely dear. But, at any rate, the cost should fall on the Knight of the Garter and not on the public. For the mere frippery connected with these offices the public had to pay £4,265. They who earned their bread by the sweat of their brow could not afford to spend £4,265 on old clothes. [Laughter.] Yes, many of them were old clothes. It often happened he was told; for he did not, personally, understand these mysteries, that when a new Knight was appointed he succeeded to the old insignia of his predecessor. He was sure that the Committee would be delighted to hear that the Tower of London, in which the Royal jewels were kept, paid its own expenses, and something more. The cost of the Tower was £1,088; but the admission fees paid by the public to see the jewels during the year was £1,900, so that there was a profit of £900. Why should not the country also make money out of the Knights of St. George and St. Patrick? A chamber could be fitted up with effigies with the insignia of those Orders upon them—he would not make it an essential condition that the Knights themselves should be there—and by charging for admission the cost of the College of Arms might be defrayed. He was sure the Committee would consider his proposal very proper and very sensible.


said, he had opposed this Vote every year since he entered Parliament, and meant to oppose it now. The whole of this matter might be called tomfoolery. The people who wanted this tomfoolery ought to be made to pay for it, and not the nation. He saw an item of £20 for cost of medals, awarded by Her Majesty for saving life on land. That was one £20, at any rate, that was properly, usefully, and even decently spent. He had always objected to the Queen's Plates for Ireland. It was merely to encourage racing, one of the greatest scandals and the worst evils they had to deal with in this country—a practice which had done more mischief than almost anything else he knew of. As a protest against all this tomfoolery he begged to move the reduction of the Vote by £100.

Motion made, and Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £1,785, be granted for the said Service."—(Mr. A. C. Morton.)

The Committee divided:—Ayes 39; Noes 83.—(Division List, No. 307.)

Original Question put, and agreed to.

15. £45,000, to complete the sum for Pleuro-Pneumonia, agreed to.

16. £23,000, to complete the sum for Highlands and Islands of Scotland (Public Works and Communications).


directed attention to an increase in the Vote in respect of the construction of roads in the Highlands, and asked for an explanation on the subject.


expressed the opinion that if there was to be an increased expenditure upon increased communications in the Highlands, it should be upon railways. He would only make one appeal to the Government upon this point. The Garve and Ullapool Railway—


I submit that the question of railways cannot be raised upon this Vote.


Railways do not come under this Vote.


said, this Vote was a peculiar one in some respects. In former years not half of the money had been spent, and that had been largely due to the circumstances that it had been voted to purposes which were extremely difficult to carry out, and which the country did not really stand in need of. But this year there was very great distress in the Highlands, and he found himself obliged to refuse altogether any- thing in the way of direct aid. He looked upon that as pauperising a district beyond all hope of recovery. The only form in which they felt that aid could possibly be given was not the making of roads, as it was called in the Vote, but of footpaths in this part of the country where the people were quite unable to make them themselves, and where the children were kept from school in great numbers by the danger and inconvenience of the means of travelling. The money was extremely well laid out, and he did not think it could be taken to establish any dangerous precedent. £1,000 was allotted on a previous occasion for a great road across the Island of Lewis, and nothing fresh of that sort had been done. This small sum of money, dealt out in this manner, had relieved the Highlands from a good deal of distress and from a great deal of demoralisation.


said, he found he could make reference to the question of railway communication in the Highlands on the question of the harbour at Ullapool. A Report had been made to the Treasury condemning the harbour at Ullapool as unsafe for navigation and as unsuitable for the fishermen of the northwest of Scotland and the Lews. He was informed that of the Committee who reported on this harbour not a single man went near it, or took any local evidence upon it. The harbour was declared to be unsafe because of the number of islets and rocks at the mouth of it. But he had received evidence, the authority for which he thought the Secretary for Scotland would recognise—Mr. Mac Brayne and Sir John Burns—who declared that the navigation of this harbour was perfectly safe in all weathers and at all tides. Beyond that he had the evidence of the masters of all sorts of vessels. He thought that, after the evidence he had been able to put before the Secretary for Scotland, he really ought to satisfy himself as to whether the Report of the Treasury Committee should continue to receive credit; or whether it was a Report, at any rate, in respect to this harbour which ought to be discredited. He wanted to get the Treasury to admit that the Report was wrong in this respect, because, if he could get them to do so, he thought he would have made some progress towards securing some day or other a grant to the railway which he was interested in.

Vote agreed to.

17. £1,000, to complete the sum for Chicago Exhibition, agreed to.

18. £11,868, Repayment to the Local Loans Fund, agreed to.

19. 5,005, Repayments to the Civil Contingencies Fund.


asked for information respecting an item for a new Great Seal for Ireland. He understood that a new Great Seal was provided whenever a new Lord Chancellor came into Office. He also drew attention to the equipage money given under this Vote to the Lord Chancellor of Ireland and the Lord Lieutenant, the sums being respectively £923 and £2,700.


thought the item for equipages was reasonable as regarded the Lord Chancellor. With respect to the Lord Lieutenant, if there was to be one at all, the Office should be kept up tolerably well.


said, it had been necessary to provide a new Great Seal, because the one in use previously was worn out, and it was ordered in the year 1891. How it came to be in that condition he could not say. It was an error to suppose that a new Seal was provided whenever a new Lord Chancellor was appointed in Ireland. The equipage charges were the same as had always been allowed. They were customary payments.


wanted to know why the salary of the Secretary to the Lord Privy Seal was included in this Vote? He also would like particulars as to how this money in the Vote now before the Committee was spent.


said, the Vote had been carefully considered, and not a single item had been allowed to be entered without the assent of the Treasury.

Vote agreed to.