HC Deb 18 April 1890 vol 343 cc798-9
MR. LENG (Dundee)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he has received any detailed statement explaining the circumstances attending the explosion of a fog signal at the Bell Rock Lighthouse, on the night of the 5th April, which extinguished the lights, and is reported to have shattered the glass, wrecked the dome, and deranged the lighting apparatus; whether he will state for how many successive nights the usual lights have not been exhibited, and whether this is the first occasion on which the lighthouse has been in darkness since its first illumination on the 10th February, 1811; whether the regulations of the Board of Trade permit that explosive fog signals should be worked in proximity to the lighting apparatus; and whether precautions will be taken for the future in this and other lighthouses against the recurrence of a casualty which, by extinguishing an important light, might be followed by serious peril to vessels approaching the British coasts?


The Scottish Lighthouses are under the management of the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, who have forwarded a lengthy Report upon the subject, from which it appears that the usual light was not exhibited at the Bell Rock from the 5th to the 12th of April, that is, for eight nights, and that this is the only occasion on which the lighthouse has been in darkness since it was first lighted. The regulations made, not by the Board of Trade, but by the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, do provide for the explosive signal being fired only when at a due and safe distance outside of and above the lighting apparatus. The regulations wore, however, not carried out, and the Commissioners have directed their engineer to report whether such a modification of the fog signal apparatus can be made as will render impossible the recurrence of a similar accident.