HC Deb 09 May 1898 vol 57 c685
MR. M. DAVITT (Mayo, S.)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he can state what is the amount per ship which American and other foreign vessels have to pay in light dues, and otherwise, for entering British ports, or for the use of harbours in British waters; and whether he can state to what extent these charges exceed the proposed tonnage dues on European ships which the American Congress has been considering as a means for raising a war revenue?


The amount of light dues paid by foreign ships depends not only on their tonnage, but also upon the lighthouses they pass; and it is therefore impossible to state the amount payable per ship, but during the year 1894 9,327 foreign vessels with a tonnage of 4,591,518 paid £105,314, showing an average of about £11.8 per vessel or 5d. per ton for the year. There are no Government charges for entering British ports or for the use of British harbours. Without more definite information it is impossible to compare the charges for light dues in this country with those to which the honourable Member refers, but they are considerably less than the charge recently proposed in the Bill before the American Congress.