HC Deb 03 December 1908 vol 197 cc1674-5
MR. CATHCART WASON (Orkney and Shetland)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he has received the account of the total wreck of the "Isle of Erin," and the loss of many valuable lives, given by the lighthouse-keeper, North Ronaldshay, Orkney, suggesting that if there had been telegraphic communication the ship and crew might have been saved; and if, in view of the fact that no portion of His Majesty's Dominions containing such a population is so disadvantageously situated as regards communication with the outside world, he will confer with the Post Office and Scottish Office with the object of extending the telegraph to North Ronaldshay.


I have seen a newspaper extract containing a letter sent to the owner of this vessel by the lighthouse-keeper at North Ronaldshay, and I have received a letter from the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses urging the desirability of telegraphic communication between the island and the mainland. I have ordered an inquiry into the circumstances which attended the presumed loss of the vessel, and the lack of such communication will, no doubt, form one of the points to which the attention of the Court will be directed. His Majesty's Government will give their most careful consideration to any recommendation which may be made by the Court as well as to that of the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses.