§ LORD PORTMAN
said, that their Lordships would remember that last year he had directed the attention of his noble Friend the Secretary of State for War to the defences of the Bristol Channel—a subject which had been in his mind for many years. Sir William Napier was of opinion that the Bristol Channel required more defence against a privateering enemy than almost any other part of the country, in order to protect Bristol, Gloucester, and the Severn. His noble Friend informed him, in answer to his Question, that the Government had purchased sites for the erection of defensive works on the shores of the Bristol Channel, but that no Votes had been taken by his predecessor (Sir George Lewis) for 1047 the purpose of erecting works on those sites. His noble Friend, however, said that the subject should receive his careful attention. He now begged to ask his noble Friend, Whether any progress had been made in preparing these defences?
EARL DE GREY AND RIPON
said, he agreed with his noble Friend as to the importance of this subject. Sites had been purchased, and the Government were negotiating for others on which to erect works for defending both sides of the Channel, and this Session a Vote had been taken for the purpose of erecting the fortifications. A part of the works was in a forward state, and as soon as possible the remaining portion would be commenced. He hoped that the principal portion, if not all, the works would be completed in the course of the present year.