§ THE EARL OF LEITRIM
, in rising to call the attention of Her Majesty's Government to Section 3 of the Tramways and Public Companies (Ireland) Act, 1883; and to ask, Whether the Treasury would confirm a presentment by a Grand Jury for a guarantee of four per cent. said, his belief was that it would be advantageous to the Treasury, the baronies, and the promoters, if the terms of the Order in Council were at once clearly defined, and if it were understood that a certain amount of money might be included in the paid-up capital for interest during construction.
, in reply, said, the Irish Government and the Treasury had agreed that the paid-up capital on which the Imperial subsidiary guarantee was given under the Tramways Act should represent the actual cost of construction and equipment only, and not the nominal capital. This decision involved a negative answer to the Question of the noble Earl; because it was not probable that capital would be forthcoming at par upon a 4 per cent guarantee, while there was reason to believe—or at least to hope—that a sufficient sum could be raised at par for 5 percent. The difference of charge upon the public in the two cases was not considerable, and might very likely be nil; but the Lord Lieutenant and the Treasury felt the importance of discouraging any fictitious enlargement of the capital of these Companies, in the interests of the Act itself, and of the guaranteeing baronies, quite as much as of the Exchequer. It should be remembered that the State guarantee was to the baronies only, and not directly to the Companies.