HC Deb 11 March 1864 vol 173 cc1820-1

said, he wished to ask the President of the Board of Trade, What steps have been taken by the Government since the Reports of the Select Committee of 1857 and the Royal Commission on Harbours of Refuge for the construction or improvement of Harbours; and whether he will lay upon the table any Correspondence between the several departments of the Government on this subject?


said, in reply, that in 1861 a Bill was introduced by the Government, and was afterwards passed into a law, for the purpose of authorizing loans from the public funds to be made to the harbour authorities for the construction and improvement of harbours. That Bill was in accordance with the recommendations both of the Committee and of Commissioners acting under that Act; and he believed that a sum in round numbers of nearly £1,000,000 had been agreed to be lent for the improvement and construction of harbours. Moreover, other applications were under consideration at the present time, amounting probably to some £200,000 or £300,000. He had now before him a statement of some of the cases, and he might mention the case of Wick, which was making its own harbour, not, indeed, a large one, as suggested by the Commissioners, suitable for all ships, but sufficient for the local trade, and calculated to be useful in saving life in connection with the fishing trade of that place. Port Erin having got an Act passed for a harbour, application had been made to the Commissioners of Public Works for a loan, and the harbour there would be, in point of fact, better and more useful for the purpose even of refuge than that recommended by the Commission. Tyne was also making its breakwater, by means of the aid afforded by the Public Works' Commissioners; and in the Tees a breakwater was being constructed, also by loan from the same Commissioners. He could mention other harbours, but he might say, generally, that a great deal of use was made of the powers given by the Act of 1861. With respect to any correspondence on the subject of Harbours of Refuge, the Board of Trade would be prepared to lay it on the table of the House if the hon. Baronet moved for its production.