§ Mr. PATRICK MEEHAN
asked the Chief Secretary whether he is aware that the Arterial Drainage Commission, 1905, reported that the upper portion of the Barrow suffered more from floods than any other part of Ireland, and that smaller sums that those hitherto estimated might, as in the case of the River Barrow, be expended with advantage provided that they were devoted to the purpose of specific works forming part of the general scheme of improvement; whether he is aware that the county engineers of the counties affected by the floods have submitted plan which forms part of general drainage scheme; and whether the Government will grant the £50,000 necessary to carry out the plan, which is approved by expert engineering authority and by the county councils concerned?
The HON. MEMBER
also asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether, in view of his statement on 22nd April, 1909, on the question of arterial drainage in Ireland, that it was the duty of the Government at the earliest possible moment to avail themselves of the suggestion of the Arterial Drainage Commission of 1905, and seeing that the Commissioners reported in reference to the River Barrow that for fifty years the state of the Barrow had been the subject of acute complaint, that the condition of the district was deplorable, that the cleaning of the main outfall of this river was beyond the reach of local effort, and that the case of the Barrow calls for exceptional and early treatment, the Government intend to remove or mitigate the evil?185W
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I will answer these two questions together. I am quite aware of the recommendations of the Arterial Drainage Commission, and of the importance of carrying them into effect, but, whatever may be the merits of the plan to which the hon. Member refers, legislation would be necessary before it could be carried out, and, as I have already stated in reply to question asked by the hon. and gallant Member for East Down on the 24th February last, I cannot hold out any hope that legislation on the lines suggested by the Commission can be introduced this Session.