24. Lieut.-Colonel Sir F. HALL
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware than an agreement was entered into between the Corporation of Lloyds and the Admiralty, for a period of 50 years from June, 1901, by which the Admiralty took over the whole of Lloyds' signalling stations, and that the same have since been operated by coastguards-men under the control of the Admiralty; whether it has been suggested that in 2534 future only the naval signalling stations shall continue under the Admiralty and the remaining stations be transferred to the Board of Trade; whether he is aware that, in consequence of the necessity for only trained men being employed for the collection and distribution of shipping intelligence, Lloyds decline to allow the transfer of the agreement from the Admiralty to the Board of Trade; and whether he will give an assurance that no alteration will be made and that the existing terms of the contract will be duly carried out until the expiry of the existing agreement?
§ Mr. AMERY
As regards the first part of the question, the reply is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, this was the recommendation of the Inter-Departmental Committee, whose Report has been laid before Parliament. As regards the remainder of the question, a letter has been received from Lloyds strongly urging the necessity of the Admiralty remaining responsible for the stations where this particular work is performed, and the views expressed by Lloyds are, of course, receiving the most careful and sympathetic attention.
Sir F. HALL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, at the Inter-Departmental Committee to which he refers, notwithstanding the agreement, no representatives of Lloyds were asked to appear and give evidence and does he think that is a fair way to deal with matters of this importance?