HC Deb 04 July 1907 vol 177 cc878-9

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Report of the Local Government Board Inquiry, held at Belfast on 19th June, 1907, with reference to the application of the local corporation for a loan of £98,000 for the extension of the electric lighting system and other purposes, has yet been issued; if not, when it may be expected; and whether ho would consider the advisability of forwarding a copy of the Report to urban authorities all over Ireland, directing special attention to the evidences given at the inquiry as to the success of the municipal ownership of the electric supply in the city of Belfast, the gross profit for last year amounting to£25,55I, or 9.7 per cent. on the capita], the average for 296 provincial undertakings being 7. 09 per cent.

The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell, Bristol, N)

The Local Government Board have not yet received their inspector's report of the inquiry referred to in the Question, but they expect to receive it shortly. The Board point out that the steps to be taken for the lighting of urban districts is a matter for the consideration of the urban authorities themselves, and the Board therefore do not think it desirable that they should act upon the suggestion contained in the concluding part of the Question. The publicity which will doubtless be given to the hon. Member's Question will, I imagine, sufficiently effect the end which he desires.