HC Deb 07 August 1896 vol 44 cc95-6
MR. J. P. FARRELL (Cavan, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the statement, at a public meeting, of Mr. James Mahaffy, J.P., Belturbet, to the effect that, owing to the bungling of the Lough Erne Drainage Board, the River Erne from Belturbet to Belleek has not been made navigable as was originally intended; whether, in view of the fact that, if a deepening of the river at the two or three places where rapids first were made, traffic by steamer both for goods and tourists could be carried on with profit, especially in the case of tourists during the summer season, he will inquire for and lay before this House an estimate of the cost it would entail to afford passage to steamers of 100 tons from Belleek to Belturbet; and, if the cost is not found to be large, will the Treasury enable the Lough Erne Drainage Board to undertake the work?


My right hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. R. W. HANBURY), who is unavoidably absent from the House, has asked me to answer this Question for him. He is informed that the Erne was made navigable from Belleek to Belturbet as part of the drainage scheme lately carried out, and to the depth proposed in the plans. Some years have elapsed since the cuts were made, and the Board of Works report that an investigation would be necessary to ascertain their present condition, but, judging from the plans, the Board believe that a steamer of the cargo capacity mentioned could ply between the places named. In the absence of evidence that any further expenditure on the navigation is required, the question of a further grant (in addition to the £15,000 voted between 1882 and 1885) does not arise.