HC Deb 25 May 1880 vol 252 c434

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether the Government is aware that the concession, under which a French Company farm the Turkish Lighthouses and collect dues on shipping for upholding the same, expires on the 20th of August next; and, whether the Government has considered the desirability of directing Her Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople to endeavour, in conjunction with the representatives of other maritime nations, to get the whole of the lights and life-saving establishments on the Turkish coasts put into the hands of an International Commission, which should be empowered to levy such dues as might be required for the efficient administration of the service?


The question of lighthouse dues in Turkey has for some time past engaged the attention of Her Majesty's Government. Various complaints have been made, which there is reason to think are well-founded, that the amount of these dues is much in excess of the rates required for the efficient maintenance of the lighthouse service. Her Majesty's Government consider that the whole subject should be fully and impartially considered, and they are in communication with the Porte and with other foreign Governments concerned with the view to an inquiry of this nature. The importance of the subject, British shipping interests being chiefly concerned, is fully recognized. It is a mistake, however, to suppose that the existing concession to Messrs. Collas will expire in August next. It does not terminate until September, 1884.