20. Mr. WHITE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether representations have been made to him on behalf of stock-owners in the county of Meath and adjoining areas as to the great importance of an immediate resumption of sailings from the port of Drogheda; if he is aware that on behalf of the workers in a shipping strike at present in existence the Board was invited to arbitrate; what action was taken; and whether he will approach the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to submit any difference with their workers to arbitration?
My attention has been called to this matter, and I am now in communication with the company.
22. Mr. WHITE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will state the statutory obligations of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to maintain a regular service of boats from Drogheda and, in the event of their not being fulfilled, what is the penalty; whether he is aware that an alleged pooling arrangement exists between the London and North-Western Railway Company and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, whereby merchandise or animals shipped from Dublin per London and North-Western Railway Company from the country surrounding Drogheda is in part credited to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, thereby rendering it unnecessary for the latter company to cater for the trade of their own district; and whether, having regard to the general dissatisfaction given and the injury to public interests inflicted by the action of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company upon the interests of the area they were intended to serve, he will grant an inquiry into the manner in which they have discharged their Parliamentary 1828 obligations since their purchase of the Drogheda Steam Packet Company?
The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company were empowered by their Steam Vessels Act of 1902 to run a service of vessels between Fleetwood and Liverpool and Drogheda, but the Act provides no penalty in the event of the service not being maintained. Particulars of an agreement for pooling receipts from competitive traffic between the London and North-Western, Midland, and Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Companies were published in 1909, but this agreement would seem to be superseded for the time being by the arrangements between the Government and the railway companies of Great Britain, under which receipts from all traffic, including steamboat traffic, are pooled. I do not think that an inquiry as suggested by my hon. Friend would serve any useful purpose.