§ 21. Mr. MULDOON
asked whether the Irish Board of Works and the Irish Agricultural Department reported to the Development Commissioners in favour of Grants being made to the Cork and Muskerry and the Donoughmore Extension, the Schull and Skibbereen, and the Timoleague and Courtmacsherry Railways, in respect of improvements necessitated by original defective construction; whether the Development Commissioners refused to recommend any Grants being made, and on what grounds have they so refused; whether any of the Development Commissioners ever visited Ireland in connection with these claims; and whether the Treasury propose to take any steps to carry out the recommendation of the Irish Viceregal Commission on Irish Railways in respect of these lines?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Masterman)
The Irish Board of Works expressed no opinion on the general merits of the application, apart from its technical engineering and financial aspects. The Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland recommended 2640 it for favourable consideration. The Development Commissioners declined to recommend an advance from the Development Fund on the grounds that the primary object of the application was the relief of the local rates, and that if the application were granted it would not, in their opinion, lead to any agricultural development commensurate with the expenditure required. They did not think it necessary that a personal visit should be paid to the district on their behalf, as they had before them an official report giving full particulars of its population, agriculture, and traffic facilities. The Development Commission not having recommended an advance from the Development Fund, the Treasury is precluded from making an advance from the fund, and the case for an advance from other sources appears to be still weaker than that for an advance from the fund.