HC Deb 04 July 1904 vol 137 cc479-80

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, if the Irish Government are about to advance £100,000 for harbour works in the neighbourhood of Belmullet, county Mayo; and, if so, is this sum by loan or grant, and if by loan on what terms; how much has this county received for like purposes since 1883, including the present advance; and what sums have in the same period been advanced to the county of Antrim for similar purposes.


If all the arrangements imposed by statute with the county council, railway company, and other interested parties are, as I trust may be the case, satisfactorily concluded, a sum of over £90,000 may probably be issued in respect of works in Mayo as a free grant under the Marine Works Act of 1902. That Act, in common with the Railways Act of 1896 and the Railways Act of 1890 (Mr. A. J. Balfour's Act) provides for free grants in connection only with counties of which portions are scheduled as congested. No sums under those Acts are applicable to other parts of Ireland, and no comparison can be usefully instituted between such exceptional expenditure in a 'congested' county and ordinary expenditure in an uncongested county, except for the purpose of criticising a policy consistently pursued since the year 1890. The Sea Fisheries Act of 1883 was of general application. Under it Antrim received a free grant of £1,342, and Mayo a free grant of £27,520, and a loan of £2,773. I am inquiring what are the sums granted or lent in respect of county Mayo by the Congested Districts Board under the Act of 1891, and in respect of Antrim from other sources since the year 1883.


As a matter of fact, has the hon. Member informed the right hon. Gentleman of the necessity for a harbour grant for this county?


Order, order!