HC Deb 29 March 1897 vol 47 cc1551-2

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the late Government proposed to re-equip the Parsonstown and Portumna derelict railway, and that the Great Southern and Western Company at that time agreed to carry out the necessary equipment, afterwards refusing to do so as their calculations were found to be erroneous; whether, seeing that it has been calculated that £24,000 will re-equip the line, that sum will be given out of the £50,000 granted last Session for promoting railways in Ireland; and whether the Great Southern and Western Company have made an offer to work the line and incorporate it with their own?


The late Government made no offer such as is alleged in the Question. It did, however, repeat the terms of an offer that had already been made by the previous Government, the effect of which was that if an agreement were come to with a responsible company such as the Great Southern and Western Railway to restore the line, and when restored to maintain it, the Treasury would be asked to contribute £12,000 towards the cost of re-construction, estimated at £24,000. The present Government has intimated its willingness to contribute towards the cost of re-construction if an arrangement be come to within a reasonable time; but further than this it cannot go until it has before it a definite scheme to which the Grand Jury and the Railway Company which proposes to work the line, are agreed. Under the Railways Act of last year, which provided £500,000, not £50,000, for the purposes referred to, it would not be possible for the Government, in any circumstances, to contribute more than one-half of the cost of construction and equipment.

MR. R. M. DANE (Fermanagh, N.)

Arising out of that, may I ask whether as the Great Southern Railway Company are willing to construct this line, the present Government will give a larger sum than £12,000?


No, it would not be possible under the Act.