HC Deb 03 August 1906 vol 162 cc1596-7

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Committee of Inquiry into the Department of Agriculture, etc., ruled that the question of the misapplication or loss of the Bourke Cochran trust fund was not within the scope of their inquiry, and has he any reason to suppose that this view will not also be applied to any statement on the subject submitted by Mr. Bourke Cochran's solicitor; was any member of the Department a director of the company which issued the statement in its prospectus that the Sligo Sawmills and Joinery Company, Limited, was launched under the auspices of the Department, and was that statement ever denied or repudiated until after the public had taken shares and lost its money; and will he take steps to have the whole transaction properly investigated, and the loss of the £10,000 given by Mr. Bourke Cochran and the rest of the share capital explained.

(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) I understand that the statement of Mr. Bourke Cochran's solicitor will be considered by the Committee. No member of the Department was a director of the company. The statement in the prospectus, which, as I have already informed the hon. and learned Member, was not made with the authority or knowledge of the Department, was not withdrawn by them. As a matter of fact, the statement did not come under the notice of the Department until long after it was made, and all the money was invested. I see no cause for any such action on the part of the Government as is suggested in the Question.