§ MR. MACVEAGH (Down, S.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that several of the tributaries of the River Bann for salmon and trout, including the Six mile water and the Maine and its tributaries (particularly the Kells), are being so polluted by the discharge of dye stuffs and chemical matter from various mills as to endanger the existence of fish life in these waters; whether the attention of the fishery authorities in Ireland has been called to the effect of the practice of abstracting water from these rivers; and whether, in view of the effect upon fishermen along the banks of Lough Neagh of 455 these proceedings, and of the fact that since 1885 the fisheries of the Coleraine district have decreased by over 50 percent., he will give directions for an investigation into these matters.
(Answered by Mr. Wyndham.) I am informed that the fact is as stated in the first part of the Question. Under Section 80 of 5 and 6 Vic, c. 106, it is illegal to cause to flow into a river or lake any dye-stuff or other matter that may be poisonous to fish. It is the duty of the Local Boards of Conservators to enforce the law in this respect. It is not within the power of the Department of Agriculture to take any steps with a view to preventing the abstraction of water from the rivers mentioned.