§ MR. CARVILL (Newry)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury if he is aware that Members of Parliament of the Australasian Colonies have the right to 644 travel free on the railways there; and whether, with a view of lessening the expense incurred in attending to Parliamentary duties in this country, the Government is prepared, by way of introducing a similar principle, to subsidise the railway companies of the United Kingdom by a payment to the extent of £50 per annum in respect of each Member of either House willing to avail himself of such free travelling, the said sum to be divisible amongst the railway companies on a simple mileage rate over existing systems, or on such other plans as to which the railway companies amongst themselves might agree?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR, Manchester, E.
): I think it would be extremely agreeable if we all had free passes over the railways; but I am afraid I can only repeat the statement which I have made on several occasions in reply to similar questions—namely, that this boon, to Members cannot be given by the Government.
§ MR. DAVITT
Is it not the fact that the railways in Australia, where this boon is given, are nationalised?
§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
Is the right honourable Gentleman aware that the Treasury proposes to advance £93,000 in a scheme now being considered upstairs—the Fishguard and Rosslare Railway Bill—
§ MR. SPEAKER
said: I must ask the honourable Member to sit down when I rise to order. His question does not seem to have anything to do with the question which has been asked.