HC Deb 25 March 1898 vol 55 cc914-5

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury what is the amount to be devoted by the State to the construction of the new Donegal railway; is he aware that the only notice Irish contractors received that tenders were required was a single advertisement in one Dublin paper; could he state to the House how publicity was given in England and Scotland to the fact that contracts were invited; will the Board of Works be allowed to proceed to the acceptance of tenders if the Treasury consider that ample arrangements were not made in Ireland to invite local tenders; and how many tenders have been received from Great Britain and Ireland respectively?


Schemes have been sanctioned for the construction of two railways in Donegal—namely, a line from Letterkenny to Burton Port, and a line from Buncrana to Cardonagh—and I am not sure to which of these the hon. Member alludes. The amount of the free grant is defined as being the difference between (1) the amount of the lowest tender of a competent solvent contractor, and (2) the sum of money produced by the issue of the guaranteed capital of the company. As neither of these factors in the calculation is yet settled in the case of either company, it is not possible to state the precise amount of the free grants. It is clear, I think, that to state publicly the estimated amount of the proposed grant might prejudicially affect the amounts of the various tenders. I have at present no information as to the steps taken to advertise the invitation for contracts for construction, but I hope to give the hon. Member this information by Monday. In each case the agreement between the Board of Works and the railway company, which has been sanctioned by Order in Council, prescribes that at least one month's previous notice of all tenders for the execution of the works shall be given by advertisement in a form to be approved of by the Board of Works in such newspapers as they may direct.


May I ask if one paper to which the advertisement was not sent is not the best advertising medium in Ireland—namely, the Irish Daily Independent?

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