The Premier (Mr. Adye Douglas) has received a further communication from the Premier of Victoria with reference to the erection of a lighthouse at Eddystone Point, on the north cast coast of Tasmania. The matter has been under negotiation for some months past, and efforts have been made by the Hobart Marine Board to arrange for the carrying out of the work, which has for a long time been regarded by seamen as highly necessary. The proposal submitted by the Treasurer to the Victorian Government was that the two colonice should bear the expense of erecting and maintaining the new lighthouse, in proportion to the tonnage of vessels belonging to either colony using the light, which, in the case of Tasmania, would include all coasting vessels. The cost of erection is estimated at £18,000, and of maintenance at £609 per annum, and under the distribution proposed by Tasmania this colony would bear a smaller proportion of the expense than Victoria, who would have to contribute somewhere about £10,000 towards the cost of construction. It will be seen that the Victorian Government are willing to bear half the expense, but no more, and the question of accepting these terms is now under the consideration of the Government. Mr. Service's letter is as follows :-
" Premier's Office, Melbourne,
"28th November, 1884.
" SIR,-Adverting to your letter of September 15 last, and to previous correspondence respecting the cost of erection and mainten- ance of a lighthouse at Eddystone Point, Tasmania, I have the honor to inform you that the matter has been the subject of con- sideration and investigation by this Govern- ment and its officers, and I now beg to enclose for your information extracts from a report by the engineer in charge of ports and harbours of this colony.
"2 I am most desirous that there should be no ground for supposing that Victoria is disposed to deal in an illiberal way with this question, and I should therefore be most happy to agree to the proposal as submitted by you if I could see it to be just to this colony.
"3. It seems to me, however, that the fact of the dangerous point being on Tasmanian territory places a special local responsibility on Tasmania, and in addition to this, it ap- pears that it is principally Tasmanian and New Zealand owned vessels which will be served by the proposed light.
"4. If, therefore, in the refusal of the other colonios, Victoria and Tasmania under- take the work between them, I consider that
this colony will be acting not only fairly, but liberally, if it pays half of the expense of erection and maintenance."
" 5. I shall be prepared to submit the matter to Parliament on this basis, on your notifying the concurrance of your Govern- ment.
"I have the honour to be, sir,
"Your most obedient servant,
" JAMES SERVICE,
" Extracts from report referred to in the accompanying letter :-"The light in question is of the utmost importance for the purpose of facilitating the navigation of the north- east coast of Tasmania, and the traffic from New Zealand through Banks Straits. Making every allowance, however, for the question as it now stands between Tasmania and Vic- toria, the establishment of this light is not,'
in my opinion, of such importance to this colony as to warrant Victoria contributing more than half the cost of construction and subsequent annual maintenance. . . . . It is principally Tasmania and New Zealand owned vessels which will be served by its establishment. - (Signed). ALEX. WILSON,
engineer in charge ports and harbours.