HC Deb 02 December 1908 vol 197 cc1445-6
MR. W. F. D. SMITH (Strand, Westminster)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether it has been decided to close the Foreland Detachment, Ventnor Division, of the Coastguard on 1st January; whether he is aware that all the men of that detachment have been in the habit of rendering assistance in the saving of life at sea, and whether he will postpone the carrying out of this and similiar reductions of the Coastguard until the House has had an opportunity of discussing them.


The detachment was closed as such on the 1st December, but, as stated yesterday, the same number of Coastguard men are retained there. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the affirmative, As I have stated before, the House will have an opportunity of discussing this question early next session, and in the meantime I do not propose to make any reduction of Coastguard stations which would take away Coastguard men from accustomed life-saving work.

MR. ARTHUR LEE (Hampshire, Fareham)

Will these coastguard men be available at all times for life-saving service; and is it contemplated that they may be away from their signalling duties?


They will be just as available as before. Of course, they must not neglect their official duties.


Does the right hon. Gentleman recollect that last July he promised no further reductions should be made till next year?


No reductions that would entail a reduction of service for life-saving purposes; I adhere to that.

MR. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool)

How long is it since this detachment was reduced to three men?


I cannot say for certain, but, as far as I am aware, it has always consisted of three men.