HC Deb 30 July 1906 vol 162 cc426-7

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the trustees of the gift of £10,000 by Mr. Bourke Cochrane, for the benefit of industry in Sligo, invested the money in the formation of the Sligo Sawmills and Joinery Company, Limited, and invited the public by the prospectus they issued in the formation of this company to subscribe for shares on the faith of a statement that the company had been formed under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction; and will he say whether this statement was published with the knowledge and by the authority of the Department; and whether, in view of the fact that the entire sum of £10,000, together with the capital subscribed by the public, has been lost, the Department will return to the subscribers the amount of the capital subscribed by them.

(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) The facts are not quite as stated in the Question. Mr. Bourke Cochran offered to invest a. sum of £10,000 in an industry to be selected by some friends of his, who happened to be connected with the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. The Department was not officially concerned with the investment and had no responsibility in connection with it. It appears that the company issued a prospectus in which it was stated that the company had been formed under the auspices of the Department, but I am informed that this statement was not published by the authority or with the knowledge of the Department. The matter was brought under the notice of the Committee of Inquiry into the organisation and working of the Department, and it is understood that the solicitor for Mr. Bourke Cockran is preparing a full statement of the facts for submission to the Committee.