I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Government will appoint a Royal Commission to inquire into and report upon the high scale of railway rates and charges in Ireland, and to consider the question of acquiring the Irish lines by purchase, to be more economically worked as State railways; also to inquire into the working of Irish canals with a view to their purchase, to be given as free waterways for commercial traffic?
§ THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR IRELAND
My right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland requests me to say that the Government do not propose to appoint a further Royal Commission in regard to railways in Ireland. The suggested State purchase of railways in Ireland was condemned by a Royal Commission appointed in 1865, presided over by the present Duke of Devonshire, 191 and was again condemned by a Royal Commission appointed in 1886, presided over by Sir James Allport. The condition of affairs on which these conclusions were based has not since altered.