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County Kildare History and Heritage

Gordon Bennett Motor Race 1903

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Leinster Leader, Saturday 20 June 1903, Last Edition - Page 5


(Special Wire) – London, Friday:
The question of who is to bear the cost of the extra police necessary for the public safety on the occasion of the Motor Race has not yet been settled. It was not unnaturally assumed from the first that the State would have undertaken the burden of providing for the public safety. The contest is an International one. It could not be held at all except under the sanction of an Act of Parliament, and the honour of the United Kingdom is to some extent involved in its being suitably carried out. That the burden should be placed on the Irish Counties, which have placed their roads at the disposal of the Automobile Club when all efforts to obtain a course in Great Britain failed, was of course out of the question. Mr. Brown, the Chairman of the Kildare County Council, who is in London in connection with the Land Bill, secured an interview through Mr. Carew, M.P., with the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on Wednesday afternoon, and discussed the situation with him. The idea of the Financial Secretary appeared to be that some contribution might be expected from the Counties, in addition to one from the Treasury, the Club paying the balance. Mr. Brown emphatically pointed out that under no circumstances could the Counties be expected to contribute. He added that the Counties had done all that could be expected of them in placing their roads at the disposal of the Club and expending money upon them to improve their condition for the Race, and that any attempt to levy the cost of the extra police would be strongly resisted. Mr. Brown had also an interview with Mr. Scott Montague, M.P. He agreed with Mr. Brown that the State ought to bear the expense, and on no account should the Counties be asked to contribute. The estimate of the cost has been furnished to the Treasury at £3,500, and the Treasury are trying to get the estimate reduced before declaring the amount of their contribution.