§ MR. M. McCARTAN (Down, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, whether his attention has been called to the state of the ruins of the pier and harbour works at Newcastle, county Down: Whether he is aware that Newcastle occupies a central position on the coast between Strangford Lough and Carlingford Lough, and is the most suitable place for a harbour of refuge or safety; Whether he will inquire as to the necessity for the erection of safe harbour works there in the interest of the lives of the fishermen, who are now exposed to great danger in pursuit of their avocation; and, whether he will communicate with the Board of Works and the Treasury on the matter.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR, (Leeds, Central)
The attention of the Irish Government has frequently been directed to the condition of Newcastle Harbour, and so recently as February last certain proposals were made on the subject to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury by whom the recommendations of the Irish Government were approved. These proposals were that in consideration of the Exchequer Free Grant of £5,000 in aid of the reconstruction of the harbour, the Grand Jury should contribute the balance of the cost of the undertaking, estimated at £8,000, to be obtained by means of a loan from the Board of Works repayable within seven years at 4 per cent. interest, and it was further stipulated that the Grand Jury should admit ownership and pledge 1155 themselves to keep the harbour in proper repair if reconstructed. The proposals of the Government were before the Grand Jury at the late Spring Assizes held in March when that Body declined to admit ownership or pledge itself to maintain the reconstructed harbour.