HC Deb 07 March 1910 vol 14 cc1144-5

asked whether attention had been called to complaints made by shipowners of the difficulties placed in the way of merchant ships coaling at Portland by the Admiralty; was he aware that the needs of the mercantile marine for coaling in Portland Harbour are now inefficiently served by ten small coaling ships without any power of self-propulsion, that these ten only contain in all 12,000 tons, and that their coaling gear is worked by hand; and will he consider the propriety of making or allowing arrangements to be made whereby one or more of these ships should be, replaced by a self-propelling coaling ship containing 8,000 tons, and fitted with modern steam appliances for loading coal, and the latest arrangements for weighing it?


The subject matter of the question is the subject of litigation between the proprietors of a coaling ship and the Admiralty's representative at Portland, which has recently been decided by the Court of King's Bench, and may presently come before the Court of Appeal In the circumstances it is not desirable to make any statement which might prejudice the proceedings.