HC Deb 26 February 1929 vol 225 cc1743-4

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that in January last an American ship, the "President Garfield," grounded on a coral reef in the Bahamas; and why the Government refused to allow the United States to place a lightship near these dangerous reefs when the United States Government asked permission to do so several years ago?

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Herbert Williams)

I am aware of the stranding of the "President Garfield." No record can be found of any request by the United States Government, for permission to place a lightship in the locality where the vessel stranded, although prior to 1906 the United States Government had passed on to His Majesty's Ambassador at Washington petitions from shipmasters asking for a lightship. In 1916 a lighted buoy was definitely recommended by the United States Government, who suggested a suitable position for it. A buoy was subsequently approved by His Majesty's Government and placed in the position suggested, and the United States Government undertook to arrange for attendance on the buoy at British expense. This arrangement was made, and the United States Government purchased the buoy and placed it in position, and are providing for attendance on it at the expense of His Majesty's Government.