§ 39. Mr. GOLDSTONE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that as from the 1st July the Dublin and South-Eastern Railway Company has materially increased its passenger fares, which fares were already greater than those in operation prior to 1913; whether he is aware that the same railway company proposes as from the 2nd August to increase by 10 per cent, the rates for merchandise traffic carried by goods and passenger trains, this following an increase of 4 per cent in 1913, and that these increases are alleged to be due to the enhanced cost of coal and other commodities, consequent upon the War; whether he is aware that the war bonus granted to all grades of operative and clerical employés is only Is. per week to those whose remuneration, including Sunday pay, does not exceed 20s. per week; and will he, under the circumstances, represent to the company that such proportion of the increased revenue as may be necessary shall be devoted to raising the wages and salaries of the employés to a figure commensurate with their requirements, having regard to the increase in the cost of living?
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I have no doubt that if the revenue of the company is increased 2272 the position of the employés will be borne in mind by the directors.
§ 40. Mr. GOLDSTONE
also asked the President of the Board of Trade whether it has been brought to his notice that the receipts of the Dublin and South Eastern Railway Company have been diminished by loss of traffic since the outbreak of the War whilst other Irish companies have had increased profits directly resulting from the carriage of troops and munitions; whether he has taken into consideration that the time is opportune for placing all Irish companies under the unified control of a public authority, as recommended by the Majority Report of the Vice-regal Commission on Irish Railways, so as to obtain co-ordination both of profits and service conditions; and whether, in view of the commitments imposed upon the Dublin and South Eastern Railway Company by its having to provide protection for the line from coast erosion in the counties of Dublin and Wicklow, the Government have considered the question of making any Grant-in-Aid?
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
I hardly think that the present is a suitable time for legislating with a view to the unification of Irish railways, and I fear that the Government could not undertake to assist the Dublin and South Eastern Railway Company financially.