HC Deb 22 March 1961 vol 637 cc371-2
34. Mr. Rankin

asked the Minister of Transport what arrangements have been made about the maintenance of lighthouses in the southern part of the Red Sea.

Mr. Hay

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the lighthouses on the islands of Abu Ail and Jabal-at-Tair which have been maintained by this country since the First World War. At our request, a meeting will be held in April under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organisation to consider the question of sharing the future cost of the lights among interested Governments.

Mr. Rankin

Obviously my Question has done some good. Will the hon. Gentleman encourage his right hon. Friend to go a little further and to hand the care and maintenance of these lighthouses over to the Suez Canal Commissioners, particularly as the right hon. Gentleman already has an enormous job at home looking after surface transport, shipbuilding and shipping in this country, and he might quite well leave the Red Sea to other people?

Mr. Hay

As far as I am aware, my right hon. Friend has no intention of going to visit these lighthouses in the near future. It would be far better to see what I.M.C.O. says about this when it meets in April.

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