MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
On behalf of the hon. Member for Dublin County, N., I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that at the last Howth (county Dublin) Petty Sessions, four boatmen were prosecuted at the suit of the Royal Irish Constabulary for plying for hire with their boats in Howth Harbour without having obtained the necessary licence from the Board of Works; can he state who authorised the constabulary to prosecute; and whether it is a part of their duty to act for the Board of Works when required to do so by that body; and whether it is the intention of the Government to enforce the payment of the fines or costs that have been imposed in the cases referred to.
§ MR. G. W. BALFOUR
The prosecutions in these cases were at the suit, not of the constabulary, but of the Commissioners of Public Works. The police* See, preceding volume of The Parliamentary Debates, page 410.1062 do not act for the Commissioners in matters of this kind. As regards the last paragraph, the question of the enforcement of the fines or costs is one for the consideration of the Board of Works.
MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN
On behalf of the hon. Member for Dublin County, N., I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been drawn to the case of four boatmen who were last week prosecuted at Howth (county Dublin) Petty Sessions for plying for hire with boats without a licence from the Board of Works; whether it was with the sanction of the Board of Works that this prosecution was instituted; and whether, if the Board of Works insist on boatmen who ply for hire with boats obtaining a licence to do so, it will cause the harbour to be so dredged that it will not be necessary, as the boatmen referred to declared, to carry passengers on their backs across a portion of Howth Harbour.
§ MR. HANBURY
The prosecution was instituted by the Board of Works, who are the Commissioners of the harbour. In three of the cases no licence had been taken out for two years, and in the fourth case for four years. Dredging is impracticable over about half of the harbour because of the rockiness of the bed. But it is carried on where feasible at the East Pier, and in any case several flights of steps are available for embarking and landing passengers both at the east and west pier at all states of the tide. The harbour master reports that he has never seen nor heard of licensed boatmen having to carry passengers on their backs to reach the boats.