HC Deb 25 July 1876 vol 230 cc1885-6

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether the Government will erect another landing stage at the Dover Pier, to enable English steamers to run alongside, since the present piers are occupied by the Mail Boats running between Dover and Calais, and these boats are under a foreign flag; and whether he is aware, that in consequence of their running under a foreign flag, they can take as many passengers as they please, to the great danger of those passengers, while English steamers are properly restricted by the Board of Trade to a fixed number?


There are two available landing stages at the Dover Pier, and there is no intention at present of going to the expense of any more. It is only at the times of embarking or landing mails and passengers that they are occupied by the mail boats running between Dover and Calais and between Dover and Ostend. At all other times they are available for the use of other vessels, and every endeavour is made to accommodate all who require to come alongside. The vessels which carry the Calais night mails are under the English flag, those which carry the Calais day mails are under the French flag, and those carrying the Ostend day and night mails are under the Belgian flag. There is no restriction as to the number of passengers in the Belgian boats, but the number of passengers is seldom large, the average for last month being 58. The vessels under the French flag cannot legally take as many passengers as they please, the French certificate restricting them to 450. The English certificate for the same vessels would have been 500.