HC Deb 24 February 1896 vol 37 cc919-20

I bog to ask the President of the Board of Trade, whether he is aware that in March, 1395, a petition was presented to the Commissioners of Irish Lights by the lightkeepers praying for increased pay, shorter hours, and redress of numerous grievances pointed out therein, and also asking that at Rock and Island stations, in close proximity to the mainland, a boat might be allowed to enable their children to attend school, and their families to go to a place of worship on Sunday; and, whether he will inquire what has been the result of the consideration of this petition, and what improvements, if any, the Commissioners propose to recommend?


I have communicated with the Commissioners of Irish Lights with regard to the hon. Member's Question, and am informed that such a petition as he refers to was received by the Commissioners early last year from the lightkeepers in the Irish lighthouse service, but that the memorial has not yet been forwarded to the Board of Trade, in consequence of the Departmental Committee's inquiry into the Mercantile Marine Fund, the report upon which has not yet been made. Representations as to church and school attendance have from time to time been laid before the Board of Trade, who, while regarding with sympathy the object in view, have hitherto found the difficulties insuperable. I shall be happy to look into this matter, and to see whether anything can be done in the direction desired.


asked whether, having regard to the peculiar position of the canal children population, a similar arrangement might not be made as was to be made with regard to the children in lighthouses?


I need hardly point out the difference between canals and lighthouses. [Laughter.]