§ MR. BLAKISTON-HOUSTON (Down, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the dangerous state of Donaghadee Harbour: whether he can state what was the difference between the soundings taken in the harbour in 1863 and the last soundings taken recently there by the Board of Works; and whether, considering that this harbour is the principal harbour of refuge for trading vessels at the entrance of Belfast Harbour, where there is so much traffic, something will be done to render the harbour a place of safety for trading vessels and the Scotch fishing boats frequenting the harbour.
§ MR. ANSTRUTHER (for Mr. HANBURY)
From information received in October last, it appears that the harbour is not dangerous for the boats frequenting it. The average difference between the recent soundings and those taken in 1863 is, in the body of the harbour, about 2½ feet, but the depth at the entrance between the piers is practically unchanged. I may, perhaps, remind the honourable Member that the purpose of the deepening effected in 1862 was to accommodate steamers proposed to be employed in postal communication with Portpatrick. That necessity does not now exist. The real harbour of refuge for the district in question is Belfast Lough. Donaghadee Harbour was not constructed to serve that purpose.