HC Deb 06 April 1883 vol 277 c1639

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether, in view of the loss of half their fishing fleet by the inhabitants of England's nearest and smallest Colony, Heligoland, by the heavy gales that have prevailed this winter, he will recommend that the small cost of building a breakwater to protect the harbour be contributed by Her Majesty's Government, and so prevent the recurrence of such a disaster, and the destruction of the principal means of subsistence of the inhabitants?


Sir, the loss incurred by the inhabitants of Heligoland calls for a sincere expression of regret and sympathy. The Colonial Office have been in communication with the Treasury on this question of a breakwater; and although the Treasury do not recognize any claim, they are not disposed to discourage further inquiry, which, therefore, the Colonial Office are making as to the necessity and feasibility of such a work, and other circumstances connected with it. I would, at the same time, point out that the cost will certainly not be so small as the hon. Member's Question might seem to imply.