40. Mr. WILLIAM ARCHER REDMOND
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the English and Irish railway clearing houses have yet come to any decision in regard to their new regulations concerning the Irish eggs and butter trade; whether he is aware that it is now over three months since the injury inflicted upon the Irish traders by these new regulations was brought before the English and Irish clearing houses, respectively, and received assurance of immediate attention; and what explanation is offered for such delay in dealing with a question which so vitally affects the interests of this Irish industry?
I have forwarded to my hon. Friend a copy of the reply which the Board of Trade have received from the Irish Railway Clearing House. The companies say that the new regulations as to the addressing of goods are working well, and have been conducive to a great improvement in the speedy and safe transit of traffic, and they doubt whether any general desire for their cancellation exists among Irish traders. I have not yet heard definitely from the railway clearing house as to the application of the regulations to 524 imported goods, but I will again call their attention to the matter.
Mr. W. A. REDMOND
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Irish traders consider that these new regulations mean an increased cost of transit of at least 25 per cent. upon Irish goods, and is he further aware that the objection of the Irish traders is to the application to Ireland of these regulations, and by what possible stretch of imagination could the railway companies have conceived that their application elsewhere would remove this objection?
If the hon. Member has any evidence to show that this is increasing the charges, I shall be very glad to consider the matter. The evidence before me at present is that on the whole these new regulations have led to a speedier transit of goods.
Mr. W. A. REDMOND
Have the Irish railway clearing houses proposed that these new regulations should apply to foreign countries as well as to Ireland?
§ Mr. CRUMLEY
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a meeting of traders in county Monaghan, three weeks ago, protested against this increase of 25 per cent. on the carriage of goods from Ireland, and will he make further inquiries?
If the hon. Member will give me information to that effect, I will certainly make inquiries.