§ MR. BARRIE (Londonderry, N.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the letter of the railway companies conducting the steamer service between the mainland of Scotland and the Island of Cumbrae, threatening the withdrawal of the steamers at the end of this month unless the present dispute as to pier dues is settled on the companies' terms; and whether, in view of the inconvenience to the public which is threatened by the withdrawal of the steamers, he will put himself in communication with the parties concerned, and suggest that the service should be continued and all matters in dispute be referred to an arbitrator to be appointed by the President of the Board of Trade.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
Yes, Sir. This matter has been brought to my attention, and the Board of Trade are in communication with the companies concerned. The companies have not, however, 933 so far consented to accept the suggestion mentioned.