§ MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR
asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether his attention has been directed to the recent negotiations between the Waterford and Central (Ireland) Railway Company and the Kilkenny Junction Railway Company with regard to the working of the line from Kilkenny to Maryborough, and the inconvenience and loss which the people of the Queen's and Kilkenny counties will suffer in the event of the discontinuance of the traffic from November next, failing the completion of the line to Mountmellick; and, whether he will consider the possibility of protecting the public against the ruinous consequences of the disagreements of the Companies?
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
, in reply, said, his attention had been called to the circumstances set forth in this Question in September last, by the gentlemen residing in the neighbourhood. Although the Board of Trade had no legal power to interfere in the matter, they communicated with the two Railways, for the purpose of bringing about an agreement. Eventually the two Boards of Directors did enter into an agreement, and the Board of Trade hoped that the matter was satisfactorily settled. Since that time they had no official knowledge of what had taken place; but he believed the arrangement had fallen through, in consequence of some difficulty interposed by a Financial Company interested in one of the Railways. The Board of Trade was anxious to do everything that was reasonable to protect the public; but he did not see how circumstances of this kind could be provided against by legislation. Although the Board of Trade had no statutory power to act in the matter, he should, however, be willing to undertake the duty of arbitrator between the two Companies, if they agreed to abide by his decision.