§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he has asked Mr. Gerald Balfour if, when Chief Secretary for Ireland, he asked Mr. Thomas Robertson, then Chairman of the Board of Works (Ireland), for estimates, first of the cost of purchase of the railways of Ireland by the State, and, secondly, of the cost of guaranteeing dividends by an arrangement securing the control of the Government; and, if so, whether he can state the estimate in each case.
§ MR. BIRRELL
As I have already stated, there is no record, either in the Irish Office or in the Office of Public Works, of any such estimate having been asked for or received. If Mr. Gerald Balfour received such an estimate, he must, I presume, have obtained it for his personal information. I do not think it would be regular that I should address any inquiries on the subject to Mr. Balfour. I will, however, send him a copy of this Answer.