HC Deb 20 February 1896 vol 37 c707

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether his attention has been called to a petition, forwarded last autumn by the Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey, from the people of Sark, praying that a cable might be laid between Sark and Guernsey, so that Sark might be in telegraphic communication with the mainland; whether His Excellency supported this proposal, on the ground that Sark was in effect a British outpost, nearest to the French coast and fleet; whether he is aware that in case of shipwreck lives have frequently been in serious peril for want of such communication; and, whether he will at once complete the short length of cable required to bring Sark into telegraphic connection with this country?


The Postmaster General is of course aware that such a petition, was forwarded by the Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey. The grounds on which the Lieutenant Governor supported the petition were that the want of a telegraph office in Sark was much felt by visitors and by the inhabitants, and that in cases of emergency there was no way of communication with England. I have no reason to believe that in cases of shipwreck lives have frequently been in serious peril for want of such communication. Sark is not a much-frequented water route; and in the last two Wreck Abstracts, the only case of loss of life in the neighbourhood of Sark was in a small French cutter (three lives lost). I doubt whether in any case the Guernsey lifeboat could arrive in time to be of service.