HC Deb 26 March 1877 vol 233 cc500-1

asked the President of the Board of Trade, In how many of the fifty-two harbours in the United Kingdom where the Board of Trade have sanctioned bye-laws allowing the loading and unloading of explosives, the total quantity of such explosives to be loaded or unloaded from any vessel has been restricted to thirty pounds weight; whether such restrictions are consistent with the requirements and development of the mining and other industries in the vicinity of such harbours; how many harbour authorities in Scotland have failed to prepare bye-laws as required by the 34th section of "The Explosives Act, 1875;" whether the Board of Trade have not the power under the 114th section of that Act to make summary application to the Court of Session in Scotland to compel harbour authorities to propose bye-laws for confirmation; and, in the event of the Board of Trade possessing such power, whether they are prepared to exercise it?


in reply, said, the answer to the first part of the Question was, that in seven out of the 52 harbours the quantity had been restricted to 30lbs weight; to the second part, that it was for the authority on the spot making the bye-laws to decide the requirements of the vicinity and to alter their bye-laws if requisite to meet them, and not for the Government Department in London, which could know nothing of the special interest the Question was directed to. To the third part, he had to say that he had issued circulars after the passing of the Act to all harbour authorities catalogued for him by the Commissioners of Customs. Those circulars went to 151 Scotch harbour authorities, 96 of whom had not yet sent bye-laws for confirmation, but 19 had stated that they had not, and were not likely to have, any traffic in explosivses. It was for parties interested to take action under the 114th section of the Act of 1875. The Board of Trade had no power to do so.