§ MR. L. P. HAYDEN (Roscommon, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury—(1) what is the amount available under various Acts of Parliament for the annual guarantee towards the payment of interest on the construction of railways in Ireland; (2) what has been the average amount which the Treasury has been called upon to pay up to the present in respect of this guarantee, and what has been the maximum in any one year; and (3) will he give a Return of the railways in respect of which a guarantee has been given by the Treasury; the amount guaranteed; the corresponding amount guaranteed by baronies or counties; and the amount, if any, which railway companies taking over the new lines have undertaken to be responsible for in reduction of such guarantees?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Sir JOHN HIBBERT,) Oldham
The answer to the first paragraph of the hon. Member's question is £30,722. As regards the second paragraph, it would be misleading to give any average, as lines have only come into working order by degrees. The maximum audited payment hitherto was £19,506 in 1893–4, and the estimated payment for 1895–6 is £25,386. The information asked for in the third paragraph will be found at page 71 of the Estimates for the coming year. No responsibility on the part of any company is known to exist except in the case of the Claremorris and Swinford line, where the Waterford Company is to pay to the County Treasurer such sum as may be necessary to keep the net receipts in each half-year up to £400.