HC Deb 28 July 1898 vol 63 cc276-7

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the existing Admiralty charts of the Channel Islands are inaccurate or deficient; and, if not, for what purpose fresh soundings are necessary; and on what grounds Jersey, Guernsey, and Alderney are included by the Admiralty in the category of rocky and uninhabited islands, the coasts of which may be explored without protest by foreign ships of war?

THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. G. J. GOSCHEN, St.) George's, Hanover Square

The charts of the Channel Islands are neither inaccurate, nor, in the ordinary sense, deficient. In Ins second Question the honourable Member has, of course, read into my answer what I did not mean and what I did not say. The Channel Islands include, besides the better-known islands of Jersey, Guernsey Alderney, and Sark, groups of rocks and islands which cannot be navigated by means of a chart only; but the honourable Member is probably aware that in all properly navigated vessels, and especially in men-of-war, the lead is kept going for the safety and guidance of the ship whenever the ship is near the shore, no matter what the nationality of it may be. To the uninitiated it may appear as if surveys are being made, but surveys cannot be made in this manner, nor indeed are they wanted when a proper chart already exists.