MR. O'DOHEKTY (Donegal, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether the traffic accounts of the Buncrana to Cardonagh Railway and the Letterkenny to Burtonport Railway have been settled half-yearly, as provided for by the Orders in Council authorising the construction of said lines; if he can say what has been the gross earnings per mile per week in each half-year of said railways; if not, what has been the cause of delay in settling the accounts; whether the accounts, as furnished by the working company to the Treasury or the Board of Works, have been accepted by them as satisfactory; if not, why have steps not been taken to compel the working company to furnish accurate accounts; and whether he can say what is the available surplus in each available for distribution between the Treasury and the working company after providing for the working expenses.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY (Mr. VICTOR CAVENDISH, Derbyshire, W.)
The accounts of the Burtonport Railway are not made up for the half-years ending 31st March and 30th September, but for half-yearly periods ending 30th June and 31st December in each year. The line was opened on 9th March, 1903, and the first accounts were made up to the 30th June following. The last accounts were for the half-year ended 31st December. The amounts of the gross earnings per mile per week for the period ended 30th June, and for the half-year ended 31st December were, respectively, £3 18s. and £3 14s. 10d., as shown in the printed accounts furnished by the Lough Swilly Company. The surplus of the gross earnings over and above the amount retained by the Lough Swilly Company for working the line, after payment of dividends on guaranteed shares, is £3,530 for the ten months referred to, but certain items in the accounts are in dispute between the Board of Works and the company. Meantime, pending a settlement, the surplus has not yet been apportioned.