HC Deb 24 May 1909 vol 5 cc844-5

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he has received a Report of the Board of Trade inquiry into the total loss of the "Isle of Erin" with all hands off North Ronald-shay on 19th October, 1908; if his attention has been directed to the finding of the court that telegraphic communication should be established between North Ronaldshay and Sanday, not only on the ground of the advantage to the 460 inhabitants of the island, but with reference to the fact that a large part of the shipping between the North Sea and the Atlantic passes the lighthouse at North Ronaldshay, which would form a desirable signal station, so that in the event of any ship being in distress effectual assistance could be promptly rendered from the neighbouring ports in Orkney; and if he will confer with the Postmaster-General and the Secretary for Scotland, representing the Congested Districts Board, with reference to establishing telegraphic communication with Sanday?


I have received the Report of the Court of Inquiry into the loss of the "Isle of Erin." This contains a recommendation that telegraphic communication should be established between the islands of North Ronaldshay and Sanday, and I am informed by the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses that they have addressed the Postmaster-General in support of the petition which the inhabitants of North Ronaldshay have presented to my right hon. Friend in favour of such communication. I am not prepared to say at present whether it is a case in which any substantial part of the expense should be charged upon the General Lighthouse Fund, but the matter will receive careful consideration by the Board of Trade after communicating with the other Departments interested.