§ MR. M. MCCARTAN (Down, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1) whether he can 1197 state the number of inquests held in Belfast since 1st January, 1897, in respect of dead bodies found drowned in the various docks within the jurisdiction of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners; (2) whether he can state in how many of these cases the coroners' juries found, by their verdicts, that these deaths were owing to the unprotected state of the Belfast Docks; and (3) if, in the interests of the lives of the people, anything will be done to remedy this defect?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
I am informed that the number of inquests referred to in the first paragraph is 15. In three of these cases the coroner's juries attributed death to the unprotected state of the docks. The Commissioners state that they have, in all places, where they considered such could be done without materially obstructing the traffic and trade of the port, erected protection railings or walls. I am also informed that the several docks and quays in the harbour have been constructed by the Commissioners in strict accordance with Parliamentary authority.