HC Deb 18 February 1867 vol 185 cc460-1

said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, What progress has been made with the works connected with the Royal Docks in Cork Harbour, and their present position; what progress is proposed to be made with them (and the estimated amount of expenditure) in the present year, and whether the supposed amount of Convict Labour originally contemplated will be provided; and, if not, whether Free Labour will be substituted?


Sir, the progress made in Cork Harbour hitherto, as the hon. Gentleman is doubtless aware, is only of a preliminary nature. I am happy now to inform him that arrangements have been made by which future progress will, I hope, be made more satisfactory. At the time I had the pleasure of seeing the hon. Member at Cork only 121 convicts were at work. Since then a few free men, leading artificers, have been employed; the number of them has now been increased to thirty; and the number of convicts has been raised to 274. In the forthcoming Estimates we propose to ask, instead of £15,000, for £20,000; and this will enable us to increase the number of free labourers from thirty to nearly 100. I hope the answer will be satisfactory to the hon. Member. I am quite sure it is the intention of Government to prosecute the works at Cork Harbour; and, no doubt, under the circumstances I have mentioned, the works will be greatly accelerated.