HC Deb 02 July 1897 vol 50 cc955-6

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether for many years Her Majesty's Government have contemplated the erection of a light at the east end of the Gulf of Aden, namely, either on the island of Socotra or on Cape Gardafui; whether the light dues surrendered by Egypt under her commercial treaty with this country were to be applied in part to the erection of such light; whether, since Socotra is under the control of the Aden Political Agency, we have the means of securing the lighthouse from attack by the natives; and whether, seeing that a disastrous wreck has been added to the many which have taken place in past times in the same locality, Her Majesty's Government will take early measures to establish such lighthouse?


The question of lighting the east end of the Gulf of Aden has for some time occupied the attention of Her Majesty's Government. It is believed that the most suitable site for a light, or lights, is in the vicinity of Cape Gardafui, but the lighting of that coast is beset by difficulties, especially with regard to jurisdiction, which have up to the present prevented this scheme from being carried out. No part of the Light Dues surrendered by Egypt will, as at present arranged, be available for lighting either Gardafui or Socotra. There would be no difficulty in securing the safety of a lighthouse at Socotra, but my right hon. Friend is not so clear as regards the safety of one on the mainland. The Board of Trade will spare no pains to overcome the difficulties which have hitherto prevented the lighting of this locality.