§ Mr. HOUSTON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he could state the amount of light dues collected from owners or agents of vessels during the last twelve months for which he has a Return, and the date of such Return; whether he could state which countries, other than Great Britain, impose light dues on ship-owners; whether he is prepared to introduce legislation remitting light dues so charged to owners of British vessels who employ all British crews; and, failing this, whether he is prepared to introduce legislation applying light dues so collected to provide training ships for British-born boys with a view to a greater employment of British seamen on board British vessels, and the consequent reduction of foreigners employed aboard British vessels?
The last account of the General Lighthouse Fund presented to Parliament on the 24th November, 1910 (No. 332), shows that the light dues collected from British and Foreign owned vessels and paid into that Fund in the year ended the 31st March, 1910, amounted to £462,651, of which £148,100 was collected from foreign owned vessels. Light dues are chargedeo nomine in Norway, Sweden, Turkey, Greece, Egypt and some other countries. In the case of various other countries (including, as far as my information goes, the United States and most of the European maritime countries) the cost of the lighthouse service is defrayed, in part at least, out of taxes levied on shipping in the shape of tonnage dues. As at present advised I am not prepared to introduce legislation in the directions suggested.