§ 60. Mr. C. BATHURST
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) if he realises that under Section 17 of the Agriculture and Technical Instruction (Ireland) Act, 1899, he possesses the power, which is not possessed by the President of the English Board of Agriculture, to appear as complainant on behalf of persons aggrieved in reference to any matter which the Railway and Canal Commissioners have jurisdiction to hear and determine; and whether, in view of the injury which is bound to be inflicted upon the Irish agricultural industry by the proposed 4 per cent. increase in the rates charged by Irish railway companies as from the 1st July, he proposes to exercise this power'?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The Department are not yet in a position to give the' information asked for in the second part of the question; but the whole matter is receiving careful attention. Complaints by aggrieved persons as to proposed increases in rates by railway companies in Ireland (other than the Great Southern and Western Railway Company and the Fishguard and Rosslare Railways and Harbours Company—the latter company as regards through rates viâ the Port of Waterford)—must first be made to and considered by the Board of Trade.