HC Deb 16 March 1925 vol 181 cc1836-7

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps have been taken to conclude a convention between the British Government and the Irish Free State Government, in accordance with Clause 2 of the Annex to the Treaty, and especially with regard to the maintenance by the Irish Free State Government of lighthouses, buoys, beacons, and navigational marks or aids; whether, in the interests of our Mercantile Marine and the British Fleet, such convention will provide for adequate facilities for the British Government to inspect the condition of these lighthouses, buoys, beacons and navigational marks and aids from time to time, and to insist on their efficient maintenance; and whether he will state by whom the cost of such maintenance has been defrayed from the date of the treaty up to the present time?


His Majesty's Government have for some time been in correspondence with the Government of the Irish Free State in this matter, and meanwhile the administration of lights in Irish Free State waters remains on the same footing as prior to the establishment of the Irish Free State. In reply to the last part of the question, the cost of maintenance continues to be defrayed from the General Lighthouse Fund and all dues collected in Free State ports continue to be paid into that fund.


Can the Under-Secretary give any indication when these negotiations are likely to be concluded, as it is now a long time since the Treaty was signed?


I observe that a similar question was put in the Dail at a recent meeting in Ireland and I have no means of ascertaining when the negotiations will be concluded.