§ MR. WILLIAM JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been called to the refusal of the Commissioners of Irish Lights to put up a light and fog signal on Blackhead, though pressed to do so by the Belfast Harbour Board; and whether, under the circumstances, the Belfast Harbour Board would be empowered to put up a light and fog signal to remove the serious risk to life and marine property caused by the present position?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. C. T. RITCHIE,) Croydon
Yes, Sir. In 1894 and 1895 the Board of Trade received several representations as to the desirability of establishing a lighthouse and fog signal on Blackhead, but the Board agreed with the Irish Lights Commissioners that a light and signal at that place, being only for the benefit of local traffic, could not properly be provided at the cost of the Mercantile Marine Fund. I have no reason to doubt that if the Belfast Harbour Board, as the local lighthouse authority, apply to the Irish Lights Commissioners under Section 653 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, for their sanction to the erection of a lighthouse at the cost of the local lighthouse authority, the application will receive favourable consideration, but the Board of Trade have no power of initiation in the matter.