HC Deb 25 August 1893 vol 16 cc1079-80
MR. ROSS (Londonderry)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if the Commissioners of Irish Lights have applied for the sanction of the Board of Trade to their proposal to establish a fixed electric light at the Old Head of Kinsale; is he aware that, in the opinion of experts of high standing, the Giant Lens Lighthouse gaslight would be much more effective; has Mr. J. R. Wigham, of Dublin, offered to pay the expenses of a practical test of the comparative merits of these two lights; and will he insist on this test being made?


I have replied to the first of these questions in my answer to the hon. Member for Dublin City, St. Stephen's Green Division, on June 19 last, in which I stated that the Trinity House declined to approve the proposal to establish an electric light at Kinsale Head. I am aware that there is a difference of opinion as to the comparative merits of electric, gas, and oil lights in foggy weather. The Board have received an offer from Mr. Wigham to pay the expenses of experiments with his new "intensity burner" and "giant lens." The Board referred this offer to the Irish Lights Commissioners and Trinity House for their observations. In reply, the Irish Lights Commissioners sent to the Board of Trade a copy of a Report from their scientific adviser on the subject, and of a letter they had written to Mr. Wigham, dated July 17, stating that they do not consider it would be wise to enter into any experiments at present. The Trinity House have asked for further information respecting the desired experiments. It is not the province of the Board of Trade to instruct the Lighting Authorities in such matters, and we have no power to insist upon such tests being made.

MR. W. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

Will the right hon. Gentleman take the earliest opportunity of testing the appliance of Mr. Wigham?


I am afraid my opinion would be of very little value as against that of the scientific adviser to the Irish Lights Board, who has made a very exhaustive Report.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

Would the right hon. Gentleman obtain the assistance of the Member for West Birmingham?


Can the right hon. Gentleman say what the Irish Lights Board have done or are doing towards improving the light at Kinsale?


I believe it is not proposed to do anything at present at the Old Head of Kinsale.


Has anything been done recently?