HC Deb 05 August 1887 vol 318 cc1377-8
MR. LEA(for Mr. T. W. RUSSELL) (Tyrone, S.)

asked the Secretary to the Board of Trade, Whether it is true that a Birmingham firm has the monopoly of supplying lenticular apparatus for lighthouses in England and the Colonies, and that competitive; tenders for that description of lighthouse apparatus are never sought for by public advertisement, or otherwise, by the Board of Trade or the Trinity House; whether, very recently, efforts, have not been made to extend this monopoly to Ireland and Scotland; and whether it would not be for the interest of the Public Service that this monopoly should cease, and that, in future, the Board of Trade should insist upon fair competition being instituted hi all cases where lenticular or dioptric apparatus may be required for lighthouses in any part of the United Kingdom or the Colonies?

THE SECRETARY (Baron HENRY DE WORMS) (Liverpool, East Toxteth)

Messrs. Chance Brothers, of Birmingham, supply the Trinity House with lenticular apparatus for English lighthouses on a three years' agreement at prices 'which, the Board of Trade understand are lower than those of any other firm. Lenticular apparatus required by the Board of Trade for lighthouses erected by them abroad is also obtained under this arrangement. The Board of Trade are not aware how the Colonial Governments obtain lenticular apparatus for lighthouses erected by thorn. In Ireland and Scotland such an arrangement as that with Messrs. Chance Brothers does not exist; and the Board of Trade are nut aware of any efforts having been made to extend it to lighthouses in Ireland and Scotland. Messrs. Chance Brothers have recently pointed out that they car, supply for two lighthouses in Ireland apparatus at terms lower than those named in the Parliamentary Paper of the Present Session now on the Table of the House. On the termination of the agreement with Messrs. Chance Brothers it will be considered what arrangements can best be made in the interest of the Public Service.