HC Deb 26 February 1867 vol 185 cc1029-30

said, he would beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, Whether he has received Memorials or Communications from the Meteorological Society of Scotland, mercantile bodies at Leith, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh, or from any of them, or from other bodies in Great Britain or elsewhere, respecting the discontinuance of Storm Signals by the Board of Trade, and whether he will lay such Memorials before the House; whether he has considered the greatly increased cost of the proposed plan of sending Meteorological data by telegraph to seaports, instead of a short recommendation as heretofore from the Board of Trade to "hoist storm signals;" and whether the proposed plan may not prove abortive in many instances from the parties at the ports not being "experts" in the interpretation of meteorological phenomena?


Sir, the Board of Trade has received various memorials and communications from several mercantile bodies on this subject, but I am not aware that direct communication has been received from the Meteorological Society of Scotland. I have no objection to produce all the memorials that have been received. The purport of them has been correctly described by the hon. and gallant Member; they are all expressions of regret at the discontinuance of the signals. With regard to the probable cost of the proposed plan, I may mention that the committee of the Royal Society proposes that the information spoken off should be given to those places which may express a wish to have it, and are willing to bear half the expense of the communication. No applications have yet been received, so that I can hardly say what the probable cost would be. With regard to the third part of the question, it is not probable that any place would be willing to bear half the expense of the information unless they had the means of properly interpreting the local phenomena of the district; and the committee of Lloyd's Society are of opinion that the plan proposed is the most likely method of carrying out the object in view.


said, he wished to know, whether it would not be advisable to erect some midland station as well as the stations on the coast?


I am not aware that this point has been particularly brought under the notice of the committee, but I will draw their attention to it.