HC Deb 05 March 1896 vol 38 cc199-200

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate, whether the Secretary for Scotland has received a memorial from the Committee for the promotion of a Fishery Boat Refuge for the Moray Firth; whether the facts alleged in the memorial are correct as regards the magnitude of the interests involved, the dangers to life and property, the inadequacy of existing harbours for refuge purposes, and the advantages of Craigenroan as the site for a boat refuge, from both an engineering and a financial point of view; whether the reports on Craigenroan by the engineers of the Fishery Board and of the Government are unconditionally favourable; and, what steps the Government propose to take in order to deal with this question and to give effect to the recommendation, dated 22nd July 1894, of a Committee of this House, which declared that it falls entirely within the province of the Government to provide the much-needed refuge in these districts?


The Secretary for Scotland has received the memorial referred to, and has no reason to doubt the accuracy of the facts therein stated. The engineers of the Fishery Board and of the Government have reported favourably on the advantages of Craigenroan as a site for a harbour of refuge. The estimated cost of such a harbour, however, is £20,000, and the Fishery Board cannot undertake out of their limited resources to incur so large an expenditure.


May I ask, whether the recommendation of the Committee was not that this should be treated as a National and not a Fishery Board Grant?


I have referred to the Report of the Committee, and I think the fourth paragraph of the Question is hardly an accurate representation of what they recommended. What they substantially said was that it would be so costly that it would require to be done by the Government if done at all. I do not think, however, that Craigenroan is in the district where the Committee said there was a pressing necessity for a harbour.