To ask the Ministry for Industry and Commerce whether he is aware that the limited train service between Bagenalstown and Borris, which had been maintained by the Great Southern and Western Railway after the stoppage of the remainder of the branch line to Palace East by the wrecking of a train at Ballywilliam on the 11th inst., has now been entirely suspended; whether the only reason for the suspension is that the engineer in charge of the breakdown operations at Ballywilliam sent the engines and carriages used on the Borris service to Dublin after the breakdown train had been wrecked on another branch (Bagenalstown-Gowran) on the 14th instant; whether the Borris-Bagenalstown line has been profitable in working, and not affected, so far, by any destructive attacks, and whether the Minister will use his influence to prevent the increase in the price of coal and footstuffs and general dislocation of trade in Borris, by insisting on the railway company maintaining this service.

The Great Southern and Western Railway Company states that this section of its railway has been closed because the service it renders is not considered essential under present conditions, and because it was being worked at a loss. I understand, however, that the company intends to provide, if possible, a special train for the weekly fairs at Borris.

While the railway companies are endeavouring under difficulties to maintain essential services out of their own resources, the opening or closing of particular sections of the line must be left largely to their discretion.

The position of the Bagenalstown-Borris Branch has, however, already been brought to my attention, and I am considering whether I would be justified in pressing the company to re-open it.