HC Deb 19 February 1901 vol 89 c492

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Irish Lights Commissioners continue to place contracts for the repairs of lightships under their control with an English shipbuilding company at Appledore, Devon, which does not pay the trade union rate of wages; and whether he will suggest the desirability of placing such contracts with Irish firms.


I am informed by the Commissioners of Irish Lights that the last contract for the repair of a lightship which was placed by them with the shipbuilding company at Appledore, Devon, was in the case of the "Gannet," in 1898. As stated by my predecessor in reply to a question from the hon. and gallant Member in February 1899, the company in that case gave an assurance that they were prepared to pay the wages generally accepted as current in each trade for competent workmen in the district. I am also informed that tenders were advertised for in that case, and the lowest was accepted. As regards the second paragraph of the question, I do not think this is a matter in respect of which the Board of Trade can properly interfere, by suggestion or otherwise.


Is it a fact that neither the Government nor the Irish people have any control over these Lights Commissioners?


Order, order ! The hon. Member must give notice of that question.