§ MR. KENNEDY (Westmeath, N.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction will consider the advisability of exercising its powers under Section 17 of the Agriculture and Technical Instruction (Ireland) Act, 1899, of appearing before the Railway and Canal Commissioners on behalf of the boatowners on the Royal Canal who feel aggrieved by reason of the tolls charged by the Midland Great Western Railway on canal traffic, when added to the working expenses, being in excess of the freight charged on that company's railway for the same class of goods, thereby destroying the competition of the canal; and whether seeing that, while the directors of the railway company have reduced their freight for coal by about 6d. per ton from Dublin to Mullingar, the reduction in canal tolls which they offer the boatowners amounts to only about 1d. per ton, he will say whether he can take any and, if so, what action in the matter.
(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) The Midland Great Western Railway Company, on the 30th ultimo, forwarded to the Department a list of reduced tolls for the conveyance of coal by canal from Dublin to Mullingar which they proposed to charge as from 1st May. If the boatowners are aggrieved by the tolls as now revised the Department will be happy to consider any further representations which they may desire to make on the subject.† See (4) Debates, cxx., 297.