HL Deb 31 July 1896 vol 43 cc1145-6

, in moving the Second Reading of this Bill, explained that it had for its object the further development of the resources of districts in Ireland. It placed additional powers in the hands of the Lord Lieutenant, and enabled him to certify the Treasury of any cases where a railway was necessary for the proper development of a district which was, from exceptional circumstances, unable to make such railway without State aid. The amount available under the Bill was £500,000, which might be advanced either in the form of free grants, as in the Act of 1889, or as a loan, or partly as a loan and partly in free grants. In order that the advantages should be safeguarded there were provisions in the Bill for the working and maintenance of the undertakings. Power was given to landowners to assist in the development of the country by means of these railways, by granting land on exceptionally favourable terms, and in certain cases to assist with money, provided the Board of Works sanctioned it, the money being placed as a charge upon the land. The Bill provided that, where free grants of money were given by the Treasury for ten years at least the local taxation should be on the original value of the land, and not upon its value when converted into a railway. Clause 9 enabled free grants to be made for the purpose of building piers, establishing cars, steamboats, and the maintenance of the same or any such works as might be considered necessary for the opening up of the congested districts. He begged to move that the Bill be read a Second time. ["Hear, hear!"]


welcomed the Bill as a Measure which was likely to confer the greatest benefit on various parts of Ireland, and pointed out that the railways which had been already constructed, and which were called "Balfour's Railways," had been the means of opening up congested parts of the West of Ireland, and of doing incalculable good.

Read 2a (according to Order), and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Tuesday next.