§ MR. MURPHY (Kerry, E.)
To ask the Secretary of State for War if his attention has been called to the fact that the conveyance of military passengers by car between Clonmany railway station and the fort at Leenan, county Donegal, is performed by a car owner resident in Buncrana, fifteen miles from the Leenan Port, although there are car owners in the town of Clonmany competent to perform the service of conveyance of such passengers; if so, will he state if the work has been offered for contract by tender, and have applications been received by the War Department and by the district office in Belfast from car owners of Clonmany for the work, in view of the custom of the War Department to get such work done by local men when they are competent to perform it; what is the present contract price for single and double journey to Leenan; if any of the tenders for the work were less than the sums being paid at the present time; and if this contract was carried out under the rules of the War Department.
(Answered by Mr. Secretary Arnold-Forster.) The hon. Member has been somewhat misinformed. There is not, and never has been, any contract for the conveyance of military passengers between Clonmany and Leenan Head Fort. In January, 1902, the General Officer Commanding Belfast District made inquiries among the local car drivers to ascertain what the proper fare should be, in order that officers might know what figure they should insert in their claims for repayment by the War Office. As the result of this inquiry the rate of 7d. a mile (including the return journey and allowing three hours detention) was notified in district orders for the information of officers, as the amount which they could recover in travelling claims.