HC Deb 14 August 1890 vol 348 cc979-80

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any agreement has been come to between Her Majesty's Government and the Ottoman Porte, in reference to the construction of lighthouses in the Red Sea; if so, where such lights are intended to be placed; whether the localities in question have been decided upon in conformity with the judgment of those most accustomed to the navigation of the Red Sea, and to what extent, if any, British ships are to be called upon to contribute to the cost and maintenance of the same; to what extent per annum the dues now paid to the Egyptian Government for Red Sea lights is in excess of the cost of maintenance of these lights, including a fair allowance for depreciation of capital; and at what date, and to what extent, shipowners may expect a reduction in these tolls. conformably with the agreement entered into between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of the Khedive when the tolls in question were established?


Negotiations are still in progress with the Ottoman Government with reference to the erection of lighthouses in the existing route through the Red Sea in the vicinity of Abu Ail, Mocha, Zebayr, and Jebel Tier. These localities have been decided on after consultation with the other Maritime Powers concerned, but the exact sites are left for further consideration. The tolls received by the Egyptian Government on account of the Mediterranean and Red Sea Lights exceeded the cost of the maintenance of those lights in the last accounts received, those for 1888, by £67,869, and in view of this an arrangement has been come to whereby when the new Conventional Tariff conies into operation a sum of £40,000 a year will be set aside out of these Light Dues for the erection and maintenance of the additional lights required in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. In this manner, if satisfactory arrangements can be come to for the establishment of these additional lights, British shipping will have the benefit of the new lights without any increase in the dues now paid for the existing lights.

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