HC Deb 28 June 1888 vol 327 cc1542-3

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Why, on the occasion of the recent visit of the Channel Fleet to Belfast Lough, Her Majesty's ships anchored in Bangor Bay instead of the usual man-of-war roads, midway between Bangor and Carrickfergus; whether the anchorage at the roadstead is much superior to that in Bangor Bay; whether the contracts are held in, and the mails sent to and from, Carrickfergus, which necessitated the ships' boats having constantly to cross the Lough; and, whether orders will be given for Her Majesty's ships in the future to adhere to the man-of-war roads?


Perhaps my hon. and gallant Friend will allow me to answer the Question on behalf of the First Lord. The Admiral commanding the Channel Squadron was ordered to visit Belfast Lough in the course of his cruise, but no restriction was placed on his selection of the anchorage which ho considered most convenient. With certain winds the Bangor anchorage is stated to be preferable, and communication with the shore is easier. The Admiralty have no contracts for the delivery of the mails to the Fleet in Home Waters, which is conducted by the ordinary Packet Service of the country. As the Admiral is responsible for the safe conduct of the Fleet, it is not desirable to fetter his discretion in the selection of the place of anchorage for his Squadron, and it is not proposed to issue any orders to that effect. No part of Belfast Lough has been set apart for a man-of-war anchorage, as the Question implies.