§ MR. J. J. SHEE (Waterford, W.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, if he could state to the House, what was the total capital invested in 1486 the construction of the Waterford, Dungarvan, and Lismore Railway; whether he is aware that, under The Waterford, Dungarvan, and Lismore Railway Act, 1873, the Grand Juries of the city and county of Waterford have paid £14,000 annually for the past 22 years towards the dividend of the Company; whether the Grand Juries availed themselves of their power to appoint 12 directors of the Company at the assizes next after the passing of the Act; who are the present directors of the Company; how many of them are nominated by the said Grand Juries; whether the county and city of Waterford are responsible for a further period of 18 years for the payment of a dividend of 5 per cent. on the entire authorised capital of the Company; whether the Board of Trade has appointed arbitrators under the Act; and, whether steps will be taken to make and publish a better and more impartial audit of the accounts of the Company and to control its management?
§ MR. RITCHIE
I understand that the total capital invested in this railway is £393,333, of which £280,000 was raised by shares guaranteed by the county at 5 per cent., and the remainder by loans. I believe that £14,000 has, in accordance with the guarantee, been paid annually by the Grand Juries of the city and county of Waterford. I have no information as to the third point. Only six directors are named in the Company's report for 1894—viz., Francis E. Currey, Esq., J.P., chairman, W. G. D. Goff, Esq., J.P., deputy chairman, Sir James Ramsden, R. J. Usher, Esq., C. Morley, Esq., and H. Villiers Stuart, who has since died. I cannot say how many of these were nominated by the Grand Juries. The guarantee was given for a total period of 40 years. Of the three arbitrators, the Board of Trade appoints one, and the two Grand Juries appoint one each. The system of audit, which, as far as I know, is properly carried out, is laid down by the Act, and under existing circumstances no further control can be exercised over the management.
§ MR. RITCHIE
That is a question it is quite impossible for me to answer; the only connection the Board of Trade has with that railway is the appointment of arbitrators.