HC Deb 14 July 1898 vol 61 cc944-5

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty, with reference to the statement made by Admiral Fullerton during the last Royal visit to Belfast, that it was impossible to take the Royal yacht "Victoria and Albert" into Larne Harbour, notwithstanding that arrangements had been made for its departure from that port, whether he is aware that the largest steamers of the Transatlantic State Line for a considerable period called regularly at Larne for passengers and goods; and that one of the largest ocean steamers ever built by Messrs. Harland and Wolff called at Larne on her trial trip; whether he is aware that local pilots or captains were willing to take the yacht into Larne Harbour with ease and safety; whether, considering the reflection made by Admiral Fullerton as to the want of sufficient accommodation there, or as to the limited capacity of the harbour, any inspection has since been or will be made to test the disputed grounds for the refusal of Admiral Fullerton to bring the Royal yacht into Larne Harbour; and whether the Admiralty charts give any indication of the want of capacity of this harbour for the entrance and departure of such a steamer; and, if so, whether such charts will be revised and corrected in accordance with the facts?


The Admiralty have no information on the points indicated in the first two paragraphs of the Question. The dimensions and depths of Larne Harbour are correctly given on the Admiralty charts, and no action of the kind suggested in the third and fourth paragraphs will be taken.


I shall on another day ask the honourable Member if an answer given on this subject last Monday does not disclose an utter want of knowledge of the facts on the part of the Admiralty authorities.