HC Deb 08 July 1867 vol 188 cc1187-8

said, he would beg to ask the Vice President of the Board of Trade, What interpretation is to be put upon the Letter dated 8th June, and addressed to him, and signed Robert H. Scott, Director of the Scientific Committee of the Royal Society, the first paragraph of which absolutely refuses to renew "storm warnings," while the fifth paragraph offers to send a "storm warning" provided the local authorities who ask for a warning will pay half the expense of the telegraph?


The hon. and gallant Officer does not quote the Letter quite accurately. There is no inconsistency in the two paragraphs. In the first the Committee decline to transmit "what have been called storm warnings." In the fifth they offer to communicate "information." They decline to prognosticate what will be the weather to-morrow or next day, but are willing to send telegraphic information of what the weather actually is in any particular place. For instance, they will telegraph to Aberdeen that a gale is blowing from the S. W. at Penzance, but they will not say that it may be expected to blow the day after to-morrow at Aberdeen. The gallant Officer must remember that when these predictions were made there was frequent complaint of their inaccuracy. In the last debate about them in this House, in July, 1864, they were stated by one hon. Member to be "twice wrong for once right;" and another hon. Member said that, "they might be read a hundred different ways," and that the only thing which prevented their misleading the public was that the public paid no attention to them.