§ MR. A. O'CONNOR (Donegal, E.)
I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works how many licences have been granted to work Royal mines in Ireland for silver and for gold; what have been the solicitors' charges and the office fees for such licences; whether any of the licensees have endeavoured to induce the Department to accept royalty on the profits instead of on the gross output; and whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the Mining Section of the London Chamber of Commerce has passed a resolution that, in the interest of the industry as well as of the State, royalty should be charged upon profit and not upon product in all Crown metalliferous mines?
§ MR. GOSCHEN (who replied) said
Seven licences have been granted to work Royal mines in Ireland within the past ten years. The solicitors' charges and office fees amounted in one case to £16, in two cases to £11 11s., and in four cases to £5 5s. Two of the licensees suggested that the royalty should be on the profits instead of on the value of the minerals obtained. With regard to the resolution of the Mining Section of the London Chamber of Commerce that royalties should be charged on profits, I would refer the hon. Member to what I stated in reply to the hon. Member for Caithness on Friday night. I am aware of the resolution passed by the Mining Section of the London Chamber of Commerce. I have an open mind upon the subject; 1316 but I think that the proper course to follow is, in any case, to await the Report of the Royal Commission on Mining Royalties.