71. Mr. PONSONBY
asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that damage has been done to the streets and roads within the burgh of Queens ferry in consequence of the extraordinary traffic for which the Admiralty is solely responsible; whether the officials of the Road Board, after examination of the damage done, have satisfied themselves that the claim for compensation made by the burgh authorities is just; and whether the Admiralty intend to meet the claim or to allow the burden of the cost of repairing the roads to fall on the local ratepayers, and so to force the limited resources of this small burgh to bear a heavy charge which cannot yield any return?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
We are aware that the officials of the Road Board, after examination of the damage done, have satisfied themselves that the claim for compensation made by the burgh authorities is just; but, after a careful examination of the facts, we are satisfied that there is no evidence that the extraordinary traffic referred to was authorised or controlled by us. I may point out that the presence of the Fleet in the vicinity has presumably brought increased financial prosperity to the burgh, which should counterbalance any increased incidental expenditure on public services.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the very heavy sums necessary to repair the roads cannot be borne by this small burgh?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
If the traffic was extraordinary and within our control we should take the responsibility, but that is not the case