HC Deb 19 April 1917 vol 92 c1849W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty is he aware that the Admiralty has requisitioned the tug "Wexford," although the port of Wexford is a tidal harbour with a draught of water only up to 12 feet on spring tides, with a very bad bar at the entrance and the tide flowing directly across it, so that the services of an efficient tug are required in anything but the finest weather; is he aware that the tug "Wexford" was specially built to suit this harbour and, as the trade of the port is conducted mostly by small sailing vessels, that these would be in the absence of the tug rendered useless, and would have to be laid up or sold and, owing to the want of discharging facilities, small steamers cannot be induced to come to the port; is he aware that the tug "Wexford" also acts as tender for the Irish Lights Commissioners, attending Blackwater and Lucifer light vessels and Tuscar Rock lighthouse, where the services of an efficient boat, especially in winter, are indispensable; is he aware that the earnings of the tug for this work amount to about £750 per annum, and that the Harbour Commissioners fear, should the tug be removed, they would lose this contract, without which they would be unable to maintain a tug for the service of the port; is he aware that the Admiralty has already requisitioned the general cargo steamer "Wexford Coast," which was a regular trader built specially for the port, thereby placing the financial position of the Harbour Commissioners in jeopardy, and that, if the tug "Wexford" is now taken away, it will practically mean the closing of the port; and, seeing that the tug is vital to the interests of the port and district of Wexford, will the Admiralty cancel the order for requisitioning her services?


A letter of protest in connection with this matter has been received from the Harbour Commissioners of Wexford, and is at present under consideration.