§ MR. J. P. FARRELL (Cavan, W.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether he has received a copy of a resolution passed on the 25th January by the Old-castle Board of Guardians, stating that in consequence of the high local tariffs and low preferential through rates Irish Railway Companies are imposing such burdens on Irish commerce as will tend to crush it; and, (2) whether he is prepared to recommend the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into the feasibility and desirability of State purchase of Irish Railways, as to work them economically for the benefit of the entire country?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
I have received a copy of the resolution referred to in the first part of the Question. As regards the second paragraph, it has already been pointed out that the suggested State purchase of railways in Ireland has been considered by two Royal Commissions which sat in 1865 and 1886. I see no reason for the appointment of a third Royal Commission to go over the same ground again after so brief an interval.