HC Deb 24 April 1884 vol 287 c458

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether Her Majesty's Government have any present intention of constructing or improving harbours of refuge or ports of shelter round the coasts of these Islands to save the lives of our sailors and fishermen; whether they are aware that the French Nation is expending the sum of five and a half millions pounds sterling for a similar purpose over a district of only 250 miles; and, whether Her Majesty's Government have it in contemplation to expend, except at Dover, any considerable sum of money in providing similarly improved harbour accommodation on dangerous coasts in Great Britain and Ireland?


The Government has no present intention of constructing or improving, at the public expense, shelter or refuge harbours; a Select Committee on Harbour Accommodation is sitting upstairs, and until their final Report has been made and considered, it would be premature to express any decision on recommendations which that Committee has made or may make. Whatever sum the Government of France originally intended to contribute to harbour works in the commercial ports of the Channel, the amount has subsequently been considerably reduced; and it has been recently suggested to supply some of the deficiencies by a tax of one franc on every passenger landing in any of the French ports Except at Dover, the Government do not contemplate any immediate expenditure.