HC Deb 01 April 1878 vol 239 c285

asked the President of the Board of Trade, If he will prepare for the use of and the sale to Members, at sixpence per Copy, an Annual Statistical Abstract of Receipts and Expenses of every Harbour in the United Kingdom, somewhat in the form of Return 571 of 25th July 1845, adding debts, interest, &c.; also Summaries of Receipts and Expenses of Lighthouses, as entered in Report of 1845 of Select Committee on Lighthouses?


Sir, the receipts and expenditure of harbours in England are minutely given in the annual Local Taxation Returns. Still more detailed Returns would be very expensive, and it would require an Act of Parliament, or the authority of a Royal Commission, to obtain them. As to lighthouses, the general items of receipt and expenditure will be found in the annual account of the Mercantile Marine Fund. An attempt to give separate accounts for each lighthouse was abandoned as not only expensive, but misleading. To apportion the expenditure would require an analysis of store and other accounts, and to apportion receipts would require an analysis of the accounts of the collector at each port in the United Kingdom for every ship which passes and pays, and the results would give no reliable or intelligible information.