HC Deb 11 May 1893 vol 12 cc646-7

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether, in the year ending 31st March, 1892, the sum of £518,241 18s. 11d. was received from light dues from shipping, that in addition thereto there was received the sums of £3,460 1s. 9d. and of £111 16s. 5d. or £3,571 18s. 2d. in all from unclaimed wages of deceased and living seamen, and the sum of £1,087 16s. 7d. for unclaimed wreck and salvage; whether, in all, there was received in the said year a total sum of over £522,000 directly derived from ships and sailors which was credited to the Mercantile Marine Fund; whether payments amounting to 142,543 5s. 11d. were made out of that Fund, not for the maintenance of lights, buoys, and beacons, but for salaries and expenses of Mercantile Marine Offices and Surveys; and whether it is proposed by Her Majesty's Government to continue to direct funds derived directly from ships and sailors to purposes not for their immediate benefit?


The figures quoted by the hon. Member are given in the published account of the Mercantile Marino Fund for the year ending March 31, 1892, to which must be added a grant of £40,000 made by Parliament. The salaries and expenses of the Mercantile Marine Offices and Surveys are charged to the Fund in pursuance of Act of Parliament; and I cannot agree with the suggestion of the hon. Member that ships and sailors derive no immediate benefit from the expenditure.