HC Deb 08 February 1900 vol 78 cc929-30

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieu- tenant of Ireland whether he is aware that since the passing of the Local Government (Ireland) Act and the creation of the new bodies it is almost impossible to get the roads made in consequence of the objections made by landlords and agents to admit road contractors to quarries formerly quite free to all; whether he will advise the Local Government Board to issue and order under seal empowering magistrates to appoint arbitrators for the owners in case they refuse to name arbitrators themselves; and whether he will advise the issue of a circular to magistrates directing them to so appoint arbitrators to fix the value of land to be taken for quarry purposes.


The Local Government Board have received representations from one county only—namely, Longford—complaining of the difficulty experienced by road contractors in obtaining access to quarries. The Board have no power to issue an order under seal for the purpose specified in the second paragraph. Under the 162nd Section of the Grand Jury Act of 1836, as adopted by Order in Council, magistrates can make an order authorising the contractor to enter and take stones and gravel where the same cannot be conveniently found elsewhere, and they are also obliged to name a householder as arbitrator in the event of the refusal or neglect of a surveyor or contractor to name one. It is the person in occupation, whether owner or tenant, who has power to appoint the third arbitrator. If he declines to do so, he cannot obtain compensation under the section. The answer to the last paragraph is, therefore, in the negative.


Will it not bring the whole proceedings to a standstill if the right hon. Gentleman declines to issue the order?


Not at all.