§ Mr. FIELD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether Perry and Company, Limited, are building contractors without experience in railway construction; whether he is aware that the plant necessary to the building of the Castle-comer Railway was not in their possession when the contract was given to them; from whom he obtained the information that they had previously inspected the route; and whether it is to be understood that Irish contractors will not be invited to put in tenders for Government work in Ireland?
Sir A. STANLEY
My hon. Friend is, I believe, mistaken in thinking that Messrs. Perry and Company are without experience in railway construction. They have at the present moment a contract for railway extensions in England, and in consequence of the stoppage of that work owing to the War they have at their disposal plant available at once for the construction of the Castlecomer line. The information that a representative of Messrs. Perry had inspected the location of the proposed line was obtained from the engineer who visited the spot on behalf of the Board of Trade, and was accompanied by Messrs. Perry's representative. The hon. Gentleman should not adopt the view suggested in the last sentence of his question.