HC Deb 23 July 1897 vol 51 c891

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether, as there will be no opportunity this Session of introducing a Bill to embody the conclusions of the Departmental Committee on the Mercantile Marine Fund, and seeing that that Committee felt itself precluded by the terms of the reference from considering the question of the transfer of the cost of the light service to the Consolidated Fund, he will, in view of adequate legislation on this important subject early next Session, now appoint a Departmental or other Committee of inquiry to examine and report upon the whole of the question, in all its bearings, of making provision for the lighting of the coasts of the linked Kingdom, so that the shipping industry may be finally relieved of all uncertainty in the matter?


The matter referred to by my hon. Friend is one that has already received careful consideration, and the Government have come to the conclusion that the transfer of the cost of lighting the coast to the general taxpayer is not a course they are prepared to recommend. I do not think the facts require any further investigation such as that referred to by my hon. Friend.