§ MR. JASPER TULLY (Leitrim, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that large sums of public money have been expended on the drainage of the River Suck, apparently with no benefit to the adjoining occupiers of land, and that at the Galway Quarter Sessions on Thursday last, before the 547 Recorder of Galway, 270 cases were heard at the suit of the Attorney General against farmers failing to pay the assessment in connection with the drainage of this river; and, whether, in view of the widespread discontent, he will direct a special Inquiry by the Board of Works into the progress of the drainage works, so that some relief may be brought to the adjoining occupiers who are so heavily taxed?
§ MR. HANBURY
It is a fact that numerous cases have been brought at the suit of the Attorney General for the Board of Works at the recent Sessions against persons liable under the River Suck Drainage Award for the payment of the assessments charged against them in that award, in many cases for very small amounts. I am aware that large sums of public money have been expended on the River Suck, more or less usefully. So far, however, as the occupiers are concerned, the assessments made on them represent the actual benefit to their interests resulting from the works—and even the reduction of prices since the publication of the draft award has been taken into account in estimating that actual benefit or improved value. Of the total sum of about, £138,000 remaining due from proprietors and occupiers, the occupiers are now liable for £67,000 only instead of £78,000, and the proprietors for £71,000 instead of £58,000, as the result of the Final Award, although in the case of the proprietors the payments represent expenditure producing no benefit to them.