HC Deb 06 March 1896 vol 38 cc407-8

*THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. R. W. HANBURY, Preston) moved the Second Reading of the Boyne Navigation Transfer Bill.




said, this was a Bill which involved a grant of £3,000 to Ireland for the purposes of the Boyne Navigation. It was a Bill that was introduced by the late Government, but, of course, if Irish Members did not want the £3,000, the Government had no alternative but to withdraw the Bill. [Cheers.] It would have to be passed before the end of this month, and if it was blocked night after night by Irish Members, he should certainly recommend the Treasury to withdraw it. ["Hear, hear!"]


said the only reason he objected to this Bill being brought on at this time of night was that right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench simply rose in their places and said they moved, and then occasionally they got some small instalment of information with regard to the merits of the Measure which might happen to be passed. For his own part, if this Bill met with the unanimous approval of hon. Members for Ireland who took an interest in these matters, he should be perfectly prepared to withdraw his objection.

MR. T. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

said that as far as he had been able to gather the views of his hon. Friends, they were favourable to this Bill, and though he thought his hon. Friend was to be commended for his vigilance in watching these Bills, he would be glad if he would confine his vigilance to Bills that took money from Ireland rather than to Bills which brought money to Ireland.


thought they ought to have some explanation of the objects of the Bill.


said that, as he had already explained when he introduced the Bill, it was one which was brought in by the late Government. The Boyne Navigation was divided into two parts. The upper portion extending for about five miles was under the control of the River Boyne Company, and the lower portion of about 12 miles was in the hands of the Board of Works. Neither of these portions paid. The Boyne River Company just kept its head above water, but the Board of Works had been out of pocket between £100 and £200 a year for years. The Boyne River Company wanted to close their portion of the river, and the Board of Works, if they had regarded the matter from the pecuniary point of view alone, would not have been indisposed to close their portion also, as they were losing money by it. But it was considered unfair to the trade of the district that this should be done. An effort was accordingly made by a new company to find £5,000 on condition that the Government would find £3,000 in order to put the works into a thorough state of repair. An agreement was made by the late Government to that effect and this Bill was really to carry out that object and to transfer the undertaking to the new company.


put the question that the Bill should be read a second time but,——


objecting, its further consideration was deferred.