HC Deb 02 August 1904 vol 139 cc535-6

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he has received a resolution passed at a meeting of the Triogue River Drainage Board, pointing out the necessity of cleaning up and sinking the River Barrow; and, if so, whether, in view of the fact that this board has spent £1,750, repayable solely from local sources, which outlay will become unproductive if the condition of the River Barrow is not improved, he will state what steps he proposes taking in this matter.


I beg also to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to communications made to the Board of Works, relative to the formation of local drainage boards, for the purpose of draining the River Barrow in sections between Athy and Mountmellick; and as the owners and occupiers of the lands affected are prepared to tax themselves, whether he will state what aid the Government is prepared to give, in view of the fact that the Royal Commission, 1887, recommended a substantial free Treasury grant to be made for the purpose of carrying out these works.


Perhaps the hon. Member will allow me to answer the two Questions together. I have seen the resolution referred to; and other communications have been received by the Board of Works from various persons making proposals for partial drainage schemes. Any persons prepared to proceed with such schemes under the Arterial Drainage Acts can do so without the assistance of Government. The Royal Commission in 1887 recommended a comprehensive scheme to cost £354,000, of which £75,000 would be contributed by Government. The Bill introduced by the Government in 1888 to give effect to this recommendation was not passed, and I can hold out no hope of a free contribution to partial schemes, the success of which cannot be guaranteed.