HC Deb 03 December 1906 vol 166 cc551-2

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland when the Government will allow the work of extending Arklow Pier to commence.

(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) In reply to the hon. Baronet's Question of the 5th November,† I fully stated the position of affairs in respect of Arklow Harbour. The expert advisers of the Government are unanimously of opinion that the proposed extension of the pier would not effect the desired object, and might involve a lamentable waste of public money. They are further of opinion that the requirements of the case would be met by a continued dredging of the entrance to the harbour, and, moreover, that the necessity for dredging would not be diminished by the proposed extension of the pier. These views have been commended by the Government to the earnest consideration of the Arklow Harbour Board. It is not the intention of the Government to withhold the grant which has been promised for the improvement of the harbour, but it is obviously their duty to secure, so for as may be possible, that the grant to be made from public funds should be expended in such a way as to give the best results. All the £14,000 allotted will be spent upon the harbour; the only question is as to what mode of spending it will really benefit the town, the industrial development of which † See (4) Debates, clxiv, 93–94. largely depends upon the harbour; and, in face of the strong opinion of their expert advisers, the Government must satisfy themselves, and, if possible, also satisfy local opinion, as to what that mode is.