§ As amended, considered.
§ MR. MACVEAGH (Down, S.)
said this was the Bill concerning which this House, for good and sufficient reasons, instructed the Committee to insert a clause providing for open competition for clerkships. That Motion was aimed at the Great Northern Railway of Ireland, and was in no sense intended for the Midland Company; but, of course, as both those companies were promoters, it applied to both alike. When, therefore, the Midland Company appealed to be exempted from the clause, he conferred with his colleagues, who regarded their appeal as reasonable, and under those circumstances he had given notice of the Amendment standing in his name to omit the clause embodying the instruction and the schedule applying thereto. With regard to the Great Northern Company, he had received the following letter from that company—General Manager's Office, Dublin,July 14th, 1906.Referring to my interview with you in regard to facilities being afforded for the passing of the Donegal Railway Purchase Bill and this Company's General Purposes Bill, when you desired some assurance that the scheme formulated by my directors would be proceeded with, I am authorised to say that the scheme providing for the future appointments to clerkships on this railway by open competitive examination as adopted by the directors, will be submitted as a part of their Report to the forthcoming half-yearly meeting of the proprietors; that the directors will use their best efforts to secure the acceptance of the scheme, and with this view they will use the proxies which may be entrusted to them to carry it and, further, that the scheme, on being passed and accepted by the proprietors, will be immediately put into operation.I am, yours faithfully(Signed) HENRY PLEWS.That letter seemed to suggest that they had considered the advisability of allowing both the Great Northern and Midland Bill and the Great Northern Bill to go through, a course which they had never intended. In order to clear up this matter the Parliamentary agents and 405 the Great Northern Company had addressed to him the following lotter:—July 17th, 1906.Referring to our interview with you this afternoon, as we understand the matter, the arrangements with reference to the Donegal Purchase Bill are independent of any action which you and your colleagues may think fit to take with regard to the company's own Bill, and we do not understand that there is any agreement on your part not to oppose the latter either now or at any future stage.Yours faithfully,(Signed) DYSON & Co.The position as regarded the Great Northern Bill was that it had been postponed until October 24th. He therefore held it as a hostage until after the half-yearly meeting of the Great Northern Company. In these circumstances and having regard to the anxiety of the Members and the people of Donegal that this Bill should go through, they did not see that any good object could be served by further delaying a Bill in which the people of Donegal had so much interest. He had received another letter from Mr. Plews, stating that there was no moral doubt that competitive examination would be established by the meeting of the shareholders. He moved that Clause 49 and the Second Schedule be omitted from the Bill.
§ Amendments made.
§ Bill to be road the third time.