§ MR. GINNELL
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland have the Board of Control of the Royal Canal yet succeeded in ascertaining what their powers and duties are; do the powers enable them to oblige the Midland Railway Company to compensate boatmen at present out of employment in consequence of that company's neglect; will the company be allowed to prolong this period of enforced idleness beyond the present month; and what explanation do the Board of Control give of the fact that although the canal is overgrown with 1152 weeds and bushes, the season most suitable for clearing it, and no traffic to interfere with that work, no such work is being done.
The Irish Government have been in communication with the Board of Control of the Royal Canal, and it has been decided to be necessary to raise the number of the Board to its statutory complement of five. Steps to this end are under the consideration of the Lord-Lieutenent. The reply to the second inquiry of the Question is in the negative. It will not, I am informed, be necessary to keep the Spencer Dock closed to traffic after the end of the present month, as the work of repair will be completed by that time. I am informed by the Board of Control that the canal is not overgrown with weeds and bushes. Traffic is now proceeding on the canal, and the work of removing such weeds and bushes as exist in it is being carried out.
§ MR. GINNELL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware there are four gates across the towing path? His Answer is not correct.
I believe my information is perfectly correct. We wish to make the canal available for traffic as soon as possible.