§ CAPTAIN CRAIG (Down, E.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he can state at what distance the buoy recently placed off County Down coast, was moored from Strangford Bar; whether the Irish Lights Commissioners when laying it down, took into consideration the necessity of indicating danger, not only to mariners passing up and down the coast, but also to those navigating the bar itself; whether any of the Strangford or Portaferry pilots or others possessing local knowledge of that dangerous part of the coast were consulted as to the best position in all interests; and where is the buoy now.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. CHURCHILL,) Dundee
I am informed by the Commissioners of Irish Lights that this buoy was placed about six miles off the entrance to Lough Strangford for the benefit of vessels passing up and down the coast and that the pilots of Strangford or Portaferry were not consulted. The Commissioners state that the buoy was placed in position on 15th November, but was so seriously injured apparently by collision with an unknown vessel that it had to be taken back to Kingstown for repairs. They expect to be able to replace it this week.
§ CAPTAIN CRAIG
Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to have the local pilots consulted as to where the buoy shall be placed in future? Is it not a fact by reason of its being placed six miles out at sea it was of no assistance to navigation up to Strangford?
§ MR. CHURCHILL
I think the suggestion as to consulting pilots is one that should be taken into consideration, although I am not prepared to say that the Commissioners who deal with these matters have been wrong in the course they have pursued. I will see that the hon. Gentleman's suggestion is brought to their notice.