HC Deb 23 June 1977 vol 933 c1726
9. Mr. Powell

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects to be able to report progress in resolving the dispute over ships' dues at Carlingford Lough.

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. J. D. Concannon)

The Carlingford Lough Commissioners were asked in November last year to submit a fresh appreciation of their claim against Greenore Ferry Services and the action which might be open to them to pursue through the courts. This has not yet been received but I understand that the Commissioners hope to have the legal advice within a matter of weeks.

Mr. Powell

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that, if the legal approach does not produce results within a reasonable period, this is a matter on which a solution ought to be sought at a somewhat higher level between the two countries concerned for the evident benefit of both?

Mr. Concannon

I have not ruled out the approach that the right hon. Gentleman suggests, but I think I should wait until I see the Commissioners before I make a decision.