§ CAPTAIN DONELAN (Cork, E.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether he is aware that the Board of Conservators of the River Blackwater is so constituted as to give a preponderance of votes to those Members who are exclusively interested in the upper waters, although the fishermen of the tidal portion of the river contribute the larger share of the funds; (2) whether he is aware that the fresh water Conservators have recently utilised their majority, against the protests of the tidal Conservators, to vote considerable sums out of this common fund for the purchase of a steam launch, which has proved useless for the object intended, and to defray the costs of appeals, instead of spending the money in the protection of the breeding fish; and (3) whether, with a view to promote the interests of all classes concerned, steps will be taken to establish a separate Board of Conservators 1078 for the tidal portion of the Blackwater (between Youghal and Cappoquin), which is one of the most important salmon fisheries in Ireland?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
I have no information to the effect mentioned in the first paragraph. The composition of the Board of Conservators and the representation of elected and ex-officio members thereon, are determined by Statute. It is a fact that a steam launch has been purchased, the use of which, I am informed, has been followed by the most beneficial results. It has completely put an end to poaching in the district around Yeughal. It is also true that money was voted to defray the cost of supporting, before the Privy Council, bye-laws framed with the object of facilitating the ascent of fish to the upper waters, and which were appealed against by the owner and lessees of the Lismore Fishery. It would not be legally possible to establish a separate Board, as suggested, for the tidal portion of a river, as rivers must be dealt with as a whole.
§ CAPTAIN DONELAN
said that the right hon. Gentleman had not answered the last paragraph in his Question.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
I have absolutely no power whatever to act in the matter beyond that which is conferred upon me by Statute.