Lighthouses (Advisory Committee).

Oral Answers to Questions — Mercantile Marine. – in the House of Commons on 28th July 1936.

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Photo of Major Sir Basil Neven-Spence Major Sir Basil Neven-Spence , Orkney and Shetland

asked the President of the Board of Trade what is the status of the committee appointed to advise the Board of Trade on proposals submitted by the three general lighthouse authorities; and what is the composition of the said committee?

Photo of Mr Walter Runciman Mr Walter Runciman , St Ives

The committee was set up in 1899 in accordance with an offer made by the Board of Trade to a deputation of shipowners and others to consult such a committee if the bodies interested in proposals for new lighthouse works chargeable to the General Lighthouse Fund would submit names of persons who would adequately represent their views on such matters. The committee is composed of eight shipowners, of whom four represent England, two Scotland, two Ireland, all nominated by the Chamber of Shipping together with two merchants selected by the Council of the Association of British Chambers of Commerce, and two underwriters selected by the committee of Lloyd's. The committee has no statutory basis.

Photo of Major Sir Basil Neven-Spence Major Sir Basil Neven-Spence , Orkney and Shetland

Is my right hon. Friend aware that sweeping changes in the constitution of this committee were recommended by a Royal Commission on Lighthouse Services as long ago as 1908?

Photo of Mr Walter Runciman Mr Walter Runciman , St Ives

Yes, Sir, I am well aware of that fact, but this arrangement has worked well during the last few years, and I do not propose to alter it.

Photo of Major Sir Basil Neven-Spence Major Sir Basil Neven-Spence , Orkney and Shetland

Will he not at least consider the advisability of giving some representation to fishermen, bargees and the coastal vessels?

Photo of Mr Walter Runciman Mr Walter Runciman , St Ives

No, Sir, I do not propose to alter the composition of the committee, which works very well. The lighting of our coasts is admirably done, and I need not revise it.