§ 26. Mr. PATRICK WHITE
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether he is aware of the loss inflicted on shippers of stock from county Meath owing to the abolition of through booking in consequence of the outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in recent years; if he is aware that the cooperation of the following companies is required to restore through booking, namely, the Great Northern Railway of Ireland, the Dundalk and Newry Steam Packet Company, the London and North Western Railway Company, via Greenore, the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, which carries stock from the port of Drogheda; whether he is aware that all the companies named have intimated their willingness to return to through booking except the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company and the Dundalk and Newry Steamship Company; whether, having regard to the permanent importance of through booking to the small exporters in Ireland, he will confer with the President of the Board of Trade and the President of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries to use their joint influence with the non-complying companies to act with the others in the public interest; and, in the event of their refusal, whether facilities for space and landing will be offered in this country to those companies which have due regard to the public interest?
§ Mr. T. W. RUSSELL (Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture,) Ireland
The Department have no doubt that the suspension of through bookings has caused loss to those engaged in the export of live stock. The companies mentioned would, of course, be parties to arrangements for through bookings. The Department are not in a position to confirm the statement in the third part of the question relating to the steamship companies. I am not satisfied that my interference at the present juncture in the manner suggested would have any useful result. The matter is to be discussed next month between representatives of the railway and shipping companies. The Department hope that satisfactory arrangements will then be made.