§ MR. M'GOVERN (Cavan, W.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the agreement entered into by the Great Northern and Midland Great Western Railway Companies of Ireland, in the year 1894, not to contribute to or promote or encourage in any way, directly or indirectly, the construction of new lines into the district of the other company; and will he state what steps the Government intend to take to protect the traders and farmers in the districts referred to in this agreement from the monopoly of these two railway companies.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
No, Sir; the Board of Trade have no information with regard to any such agreement, nor, if it exists, is it one in connection with which they have any legal or administrative control. The question of quasi-monopoly enjoyed by any railway company or railway companies is one for the determination of the Legislature in connection with any competing schemes which may be brought before it, and not for the Board of Trade.