HC Deb 01 June 1883 vol 279 cc1479-80

asked the Lord Advocate, What steps the Fishery Board are taking to aid the extension of telegraphic communication to outlying fishing stations in the North of Scotland; whether it is the case that the Post Office authorities asked, in April, what stations the Board proposed to support; and, if so, whether the Board has yet supplied the information desired?


Sir, this matter has been engaging the earnest attention of the Fishery Board for a considerable time past. In January last, they forwarded to the Surveyor General of the Post Office a list of stations with which it was considered of the most importance to establish telegraphic communication, and obtained from him information as to the amount of annual guarantee that would be required for each station for seven years. The sum which Parliament has authorized the Board to expend this year upon telegraphic extension, out of the surplus brand fees, is £1,000. The sums required by the Post Office for guarantees far exceeded this sum; and the Board have been endeavouring to ascertain what amount of local assistance may be expected for the various stations. They resolved, in the first instance, to select the station of Castle Bay, in the Island of Barra, as being the most important for the fishing interest; the guarantee required is £1,244 per annum, a sum beyond the means at the disposal of the Board. A certain amount of assistance was promised by the proprietrix of the Island, if the amount of the guarantee was somewhat reduced. The Board accordingly made a representation on the subject; but it has not been found possible to get the amount of the guarantee reduced.