asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can state the date on which the buoy was moored off Ballyquinton Point, county Down, and the number of times it has been taken away by the Irish Lights Commissioners to be repaired?
§ Mr. T. L. CORBETT
Before the hon. Gentleman answers the question perhaps he will also state whether the point chosen for the placing of buoy was chosen after the Commissioners had consulted the local fishermen and pilots and the captains of vessels plying on the coast?
§ Mr. H. J. TENNANT
In answer to the supplementary question, I have to say that I believe the choosing of the place was done after consultation.
§ Mr. H. J. TENNANT
That is my information. In reply to the question on the Paper, I have to state that I am communicating with the Commissioners of Irish Lights in regard to this and the hon. Member's six other questions affecting the Commissioners, and I will let the hon. Member have the information he desires as soon as I can. That reply will also cover the answer I have to give to the other questions the hon. Member has on the Paper.
The other questions referred to were:—
- (1) Whether the President of the Board of Trade is aware that the buoy moored 6½ miles from Ballyquinton Point, county Down, is officially designated Strangford Lough buoy; can he state the reason for such a name being given to it, when it was placed in the fairway of coasting vessels 6½ miles from the bar mouth; and whether, when the buoy was so named, it was the intention of the Irish Lights Commissioners to moor it about 1½ miles from the bar mouth?
- (2) Whether he is aware that the Irish Lights Commissioners intended originally placing a lighthouse on Ballyquinton Point, county Down, and, with that object in view, visited the Point, accompanied by some members of the Elder Brethren; and can he state why the scheme was abandoned?
- (3) Whether he can state the number of communications received recommending the Irish Lights Commissioners to moor the Strangford Bar buoy, county Down, as far out as 6½ miles from the bar mouth, and give the names of those tendering the recommendation, and also their reasons?
- (4) Whether he is aware that local feeling is running high with regard to the spot in which the temporary buoy has been moored off Strangford Bar; and whether he will recommend the Irish Lights Commissioners to remove it to a spot about 1½
329 miles from the bar mouth, in order to guide not only vessels navigating Strangford Bar, but at the same time to warn coasting vessels of the danger of the insetting tide at that spot?
- (5) Whether he is aware that a vacancy has been created on the Board of Irish Lights Commissioners by the resignation of Viscount Monck; and whether he will represent to the Commissioners the advisability of appointing some representative of the Board of Trade to fill the vacancy, who will be responsible to Parliament in regard to questions affecting the administration of the Board?
- (6) Whether he is aware that the loss of the French barque "Surcouf," off Ballyquinton Point, county Down, made the twenty-fifth fatal disaster off that part of the coast during the past five years, and the sixth fatal disaster during the past winter; whether, under the circumstances, he will make the strongest possible representations to the Irish Lights Commissioners to have the temporary buoy removed from its present position and placed about 1½ miles from the bar mouth; and whether, if the Irish Lights Commissioners refuse to do so, he will appoint a Commission to inquire into the whole matter on the spot, with a view to securing that the permanent buoy is moored in the right place?
May I ask whether it is a fact that, for three years, I have been putting down these questions, and whether it is not a fact that it would be possible to obtain the information earlier?
§ Mr. KILBRIDE
May I ask whether the Irish Lights Commissioners are, in the main, Tories in politics?