HC Deb 09 February 1864 vol 173 cc424-5

said, he wished to state that £2,000,000 had been spent on Holyhead harbour, which was in his opinion as foolish a piece of engineering as ever disgraced any country. He therefore rose to move for the following papers:— Return of the number of vessels wrecked or driven on shore in or adjoining to Holyhead harbour of refuge in the gale of the 3rd of December, 1863; stating the names of those which were lost or damaged after drifting from their anchorage; the names of those the masts of which were cut away to save them from going on the rocks; the names of those lost or damaged in the attempt to enter the harbour during the gale; and the number of persons who lost their lives on the occasion. And copy of the depositions made before the Collector of Customs by the survivors, in accordance with section 432 of the Merchant Shipping Act of 1854. He feared the Government had come to a foregone conclusion not to do anything for Holyhead harbour, or at least that they were not prepared to construct works of a sufficiently substantial character. He was anxious, therefore, to know what plan they intended to carry out,


seconded the Motion.


said, that there was no objection to produce the papers asked for, but the hon. Gentleman was under a misapprehension when he said, that there was a predetermination on the part of the Government to do nothing for the improvement of Holyhead harbour. On the contrary, they were anxious to do all they could for it. Contracts had been made, and he believed the works had been commenced. They were going to carry out the alternative plan, which seemed to find favour with the Committee. It would afford a good sheltered berth for packets arriving, where passengers and goods could be landed without delay and in safety; and there would also be a berth for the reserve packet. The engineer was in hopes that the works would be completed in a few months. He trusted that when these improvements were effected, the packet service, which had always been meritorious, would be conducted with great punctuality. The company would have no excuse for any delays, and the Government would be able to enforce penalties if they were incurred.


said, the City of Dublin Steampacket Company's vessels had, on an average of passages during the last two years, been within the four hours stipulated in the contract. He hoped the Government would not only give the required shelter, but also construct a gridiron for facilitating the cleaning of the boats.


said, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had, on a former occasion, used words which gave rise to an impression that the Government were against improvement in this harbour.


repudiated any such expression.


said, he was glad that some of the recommendations of the Committee were going to be carried out.

Motion agreed to.