MR. O'KEEFFE (Limerick)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland if his attention has been directed to resolutions of public Boards in Ireland protesting against the high tolls charged by the Board of Works on the traffic carrried over the Shannon and Limerick Canal; and whether this canal is now vested in the Board of 190 Works, and if that public Department, in accordance with resolutions of county councils and other bodies, will be induced to grant substantial reductions on their present toll levies.
§ MR. HANBURY
My attention has been called to a resolution passed by a conference at which representatives of the North Tipperary County Council attended. The navigation and canal are vested in the Board of Works. The present tolls are not higher than those which existed previously to 1894, and which in that year came under the notice of a Joint Committee on the Canal Tolls and Charges (No. 10) (Lagan, etc., Canals) Order Confirmation Act, 1894. Not only did the Act authorise tolls equivalent to the then existing tolls, but it left a margin within which they might, with the consent of the Treasury, be increased. The tolls on the navigation and canal are apparently not above, but rather below, corresponding charges on other canals in Ireland. I may state that the tolls are quite insufficient to maintain the navigation and the sluices, and to meet the other charges in connection with the Shannon. They are supplemented by receipts from rents and some small sundries; and even with these aids the account of the navigation is generally overdrawn.