§ Dr. FORGAN
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has received a protest from ratepayers in Port Glasgow against the action of the town council in coming to an agreement with the harbour trust whereby boatmen who hold under Royal Charter the right to the use of the harbour have been given notice to quit, and whereby the ratepayers of Port Glasgow are to take over undefined financial responsibility for the repair and upkeep of the quay wall and to make an annual monetary payment to the harbour trust in perpetuity; and whether he will inquire into the matter?
Mr. W. ADAMSON
I have received a protest on the lines indicated in the question and have communicated with the Town Clerk. The rights of the boatmen referred to are the subject of dispute which I have no authority to decide; I understand, however, that the boatmen have been offered alternative berths. The town council have decided to acquire and fill in the harbour for the purpose of forming an open space and recreation ground, and under the terms of sale they are to pay the Harbour Trust a ground annual of £l25 per annum, and to be responsible for the maintenance of the portion of the quay facing the river and in- 2069W cluded in the subjects purchased. They are acting within their statutory powers, and I have no authority to intervene in the matter.