HC Deb 15 December 1911 vol 32 cc2808-9

At this hour I would not introduce the question to which I wish to draw the attention of the House were it not a matter not only of great urgency, but of considerable importance to the whole of the countryside of my Constituency. I have been moved to speak on the present occasion by a resolution of the County Council of Clare which is couched in very strong terms, and I may say the discussion which preceded the resolution was couched in still stronger terms. I believe the case will appeal to the Labour Members of the House. An English firm, whose headquarters I believe are in Bristol, has embarked on an industry in Ireland which at one time was very promising. There was a sum of £100,000 involved, and they asked the Board of Works to improve the harbour. The Board of Works had at its disposal a sum of £1,500, and they decided to proceed with the work of improving, including the dredging of the harbour. On that they spent about £500, and, so far as that work went, it was entirely satisfactory. But it was found that something more was necessary. It was deemed desirable to deepen the harbour and to bore holes in the rock bottom. While they were engaged in that task the apparatus broke, and, the money having run out, nothing further was done. I do not think any Department, even in England, would have been guilty of such a performance as to bore two holes in the rock bottom of a harbour and then disappear and leave it at that. The whole arrangement reminds me of a case in which a commander was asked how he proposed to capture a town. He said, "We will bombard it for three days and then take it at the point of the bayonet." That appeared to have been the programme of the Board of Works, but then, when they had bored two holes in the rock, they disappeared.

Notice taken that forty Members were not present; House counted, and forty Members not being present——

The House was adjourned at Twenty-five minutes before Eight of the clock till to-morrow (Saturday), at 12 noon.