§ 3. Sir ROBERT THOMAS
asked the President of the Board of Trade what developments have taken place up to the present in the installation of wireless beacons round our coast; and how the costs of establishment and upkeep compare with those of lighthouses?
§ Sir P. CUNLIFFE-LISTER
The answer is a rather long one. Accordingly, with the hon. Member's permission, I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Following is the answer:
§ Two wireless beacons are now in operation, at Round Island, Scilly, and at Skerries off the coast of Anglesea, while three, at Caskets, Lundy and Start, are in course of erection and are expected to be in operation in a few months' time. Several more are projected. As regards the last part of the question, I am informed by the Trinity House that the first cost of a wireless beacon installation at an existing lighthouse is from £3,500 to £4,500, depending on local conditions, and the estimated cost of maintenance is £300 per annum. If a wireless beacon were installed at a place where there is not already a lighthouse the cost of establishment would be much greater, and the cost of maintenance would be increased to approximately £1,000 per annum. It is not possible to make any useful comparison between these costs and the costs of the erection and maintenance of lighthouses, particularly as, owing to local conditions and requirements, there is necessarily a very great difference between the costs of different lighthouses. The cost of constructing new lighthouses since 1897 has ranged from £2,400 to £,88,000 according to the situation of the lighthouse.