HC Deb 04 August 1898 vol 64 c82

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Board of Trade, has he received notification of the prosecution and conviction of the Roughfort (county Antrim) Bleaching and Dyeing Company for permitting poisonous and deleterious matter to flow from their works into a tributary of the Sixmilewater River on 6th May last; and if better means can be devised to stop this dangerous practice than the infliction of a small pecuniary fine which to a rich company is no corrective at all?


With the permission of my right honourable Friend I will answer this Question. It is a fact that this bleaching and dyeing company was prosecuted, as stated, and fined in a small amount. There are a large number of similar works in this district, and the justices, in imposing small fines for the offence in question, appear, so I am informed, to have been influenced by a desire not to interfere with industries which afford employment to a considerable proportion of the population for the sake of protecting the fish in a small river which affords amusement to a few. I express no opinion in the matter, and have no power to suggest to the justices, who have power to fine up to £10, that larger fines should be imposed.