100 years ago

Royal Commission on Congestion The Report of the Royal Commission on Congestion was issued on Saturday last. It is signed by all the members of the Commission, subject, in the case of Sir Antony MacDonnell, to a Minute of Dissent, and to the cases of Sir John Colomb, the Most Rev Dr. O’Donnell, Mr. Walter Kavanagh and Mr. Conor O’Kelly, subject to certain reservations. The remaining members of the Commission are: – The Earl of Dudley, Sir Francis Mowatt, Mr. John Annan Bryce, and Mr. Angus Sutherland. 52 recommendations from the Board were reproduced. The first five are as follows: 1. The great majority of the people in the congested districts and neighbouring areas are dependant on the land for a living. 2. The majority of the holdings in the West of Ireland are inadequate for the support of the occupiers and their enlargement is a condition precedent to any marked agricultural development. 3. The efforts of the Congested Districts Board in this direction have been well advised and in an extension and development of their work lies the best hope of a satisfactory resettlement of the congested and adjoining areas. 4. The Board should be continued and charged with the relief of congestion in the Province of Connaught, the Counties of Donegal, Kerry, Clare and the four rural districts of Bantry, Castletown, Schull and Skibbereen in County Cork. 5. In order to obviate as far as may be possible the evils of dual administration, the Board should have exclusive control over land purchase within their new area, and no estate, or part of an estate, should pass by direct sale from landlord to tenant, except with their consent. Irish tobacco growing Mr. Gwynn moved an amendment to leave out 3s 10d and insert 2s 10 d. The effect of the amendment would be to continue the arrangement under which the tobacco grown in Ireland would receive a rebate of 1s in the £. It had been represented in some quarters that such an amendment was of a Protectionist character. Of course that was true in a certain sense, but it was Protectionist under the very singular circumstances. The tobacco industry in Ireland, which has been a flourishing one, was, in the times before the Union, suppressed, and it might fairly be claimed that what was put down by law might be raised by it again. They did not ask for Protection for the Woollen Trade in Ireland; but tobacco stood by itself. There was an enactment against growing tobacco passed in 1832, and what was asked for was reparation, which could be given and which would be a great service, since it could be shown that you could grow tobacco satisfactorily in Ireland, but not in England. In the 17th century it was grown so well that Maryland, which was a great tobacco growing State protested. If it was grown in England the protest of Maryland would have been in vain, but as it was only Ireland that was affected prohibition followed. In 1793 or thereabout when Ireland had control of her own affairs, the industry was again started and in the Act of Union there was actually a clause inserted that certain industries which were prohibited by law should not be interfered with in the future. No doubt a certain amount of inconvenience was caused to the customs by the fact that tobacco upon which there was no duty in Ireland was smuggled into England and of course, in the end the English Customs over rode Irish interests. The Bristol tobacco merchants were as jealous of the Irish tobacco trade as other English trades were of other Irish trades formerly and so in 1832 when the question was debated the demoralisation of smuggling was dwelt upon, and in the end the industry was killed. Recent accident The many friends of Mr. O. W. O’G Young, the popular clerk of petty sessions, will be glad to learn that he has now almost completely recovered from his recent accident, and is able again to resume his professional duties. Breach of contract James Feeney, of Rathnagly, sued James Dolan, of Castleruby, for breach of contract by the non delivery of two bonhams for which the complainant paid the defendant £1 12s on 28th April ’08. His honor reviewed the evidence at length and said from some of the extraordinary evidence given as to gaps, he would dismiss the case on merits. (Taken from Roscommon Journal, May 30th, 1908.)