HC Deb 27 June 1899 vol 73 cc767-8

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade why, in default of any seafaring members, the Northern Lighthouse Commission has no nautical adviser attached to its staff; who is responsible for the specifying, engineering, and superintendence of its steamers, their repairs and alterations, and more particularly for the recent large expenditure of £18,000 on the old lighthouse tender "Pharos," which, after repair, is reported to be worth only a few thousands more than that amount; why the Commission has not, like the Trinity House and the Irish Lighthouse Board, a scientific adviser on all scientific matters pertaining to lighthouse service; and whether there is any photometric or other accurate test made of the power of the lights governed by the Northern Lighthouse Commissioners as a guarantee of the accuracy of the statements in the Admiralty List of Lights.


The Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses have not thought it necessary to have a special nautical adviser, as all their proceedings involving nautical consideration are subject to the approval of the Trinity House and the control of the Board of Trade. The Commissioners are respon- sible for the specifying, engineering, and superintendence of repairs and alterations of their steamers, in which they have the assistance of the Board of Trade Surveyors. The Commissioners take the advice of their engineer, Mr. Stevenson, on scientific matters, while all their proposals have to be submitted for approval to the Trinity House, as well as to the Board of Trade. I am informed by the Commissioners that accurate tests on a photometric method are made of the lights under their jurisdiction.