HC Deb 18 May 1885 vol 298 cc705-6

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether Sir James Douglass only received £500 in cash and no shares from the Company who acquired his patent rights in lighthouse burners; whether the Memorandum and Articles of Association of that Company distinctly provide for payment to him of £5,000 in cash and £25,000 in paid-up shares; whether the fact that Sir James Douglass being connected with this Company, while at the same time he held the position of engineer-in-chief to the Trinity House, was the main cause of Dr. Tyndall's withdrawal from the Illuminants Committee; whether, with regard to the Right honourable gentleman's statement that there is no restriction on lighthouse authorities in the purchase of these burners, the House is to understand that the Irish lighthouse authorities are at liberty to procure tenders from any other manufacturers besides the three English firms referred to; and, with respect to the three firms licensed to make these burners, what experience beyond that of other first-class lamp manufacturers have they had, and how many of these particular burners have each of them supplied to the lighthouse authorities?


in reply, said, ho had again communicated with the Trinity House on this subject, and received a reply to the following effect:— Sir James Douglass received only £500 in cash and shares in the Company. Under the agreement of the original Company the payments mentioned were specified, but as the Company had been wound up that arrangement was dropped. Under the articles of the new Company, the benefits and interests of the patentee had been considerably modified. The agreement was open to the inspection of the hon. and gallant Member if he pleased. On the 6th of November last, in reply to the hon. Member for Carlow (Mr. Gray), ho stated that the Papers on this subject contained all the information in his possession regarding the withdrawal of Dr. Tyndall. No restriction had been placed on the Lighthouse Authorities beyond a power of veto. No objection had been raised to the employment of any respectable firm competent to execute the work; but the Elder Brethren knew of no respectable lamp manufacturers besides the three firms, who had any experience whatever in the manufacture of these burners.


Does the right hon. Gentleman mean to say that Wigham and Co., of Dublin, are not competent to manufacture them?


I have told the hon. and gallant Member already that I know nothing of this matter personally; but I have made inquiries of the Elder Brethren. If the hon. and gallant Member wishes to ask another Question he must put it on the Paper.