§ MR. MARJORIBANKS
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether the statement is correct that the Government has resolved to construct, by the aid of convict labour, an extensive breakwater at Peterhead; and, if so, whether, before undertaking so great a work, they will appoint a Royal Commission to inquire exhaustively into the deficient harbour accommodation on the East Coast of this country, and to report in what manner that deficiency may best be dealt with for the benefit of our seafaring population and the Nation at large?
§ MR. COURTNEY
My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this Question, which relates to a matter which has not yet come before him in a definite form. The question of the disposal of the convict labour which will shortly be set free is engaging the attention of Government; but no decision has as yet been arrived at upon it. Peterhead is among the places where it has been suggested that convict labour may with advantage be employed in the construction of a harbour of refuge. As the employment of the convicts is a matter that scarcely brooks delay, the appointment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry is highly undesirable, and it is believed to be unnecessary, as the information at the command of the Government is sufficient to enable a decision to be formed when that becomes imperative.