§ SIR HEDWORTH WILLIAMSON
said, he would beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, Whether he is aware that seventeen vessels came ashore near Whitburn, on the coast of Durham, between the months of September and January last; if his attention has been called to a rumour of false lights having been exhibited near Whitburn; and if there be any truth in that rumour; if so, whether the Board of Trade intend ordering any further investigation than that already instituted by the Trinity House; and if there be no truth in the rumour, whether the Board of Trade intend inquiring into the circumstances under which those vessels came ashore, more especially as regards those that did so in calm weather and with an off-shore wind?
§ MR. MILNER GIBSON
In reply, Sir, to the Questions of my hon. Friend, I have to say that those vessels did come ashore, but as several of them were got off without damage, no report was, in those cases, made to the Board of Trade. The attention of the Board of Trade has been called to a rumour that false lights have been exhibited near Whitburn; but an inquiry having taken place, I do not believe there is any truth in that rumour, nor do I think any further investigation to be necessary. With regard to the circumstances under which those vessels came ashore, as stated in the reports from the spot, it is not intended to have any inquiry; but the question of putting a light on Souter Point, on that coast, is under consideration.