HC Deb 12 April 1837 vol 37 cc1121-4
Mr. Buckingham

rose to move the second reading of the Merchant Shipping Bill, which he said he had founded upon the Report of a Committee that had been appointed to inquire into the number of wrecks of vessels in the merchant service, and what means could be taken to prevent the frequency of shipwrecks. The loss of life and property every year was immense, and, however it might be argued that persons had a right to deal with their own property as they pleased, the loss of life demanded the serious attention and interference of the Legislature. The remedy which he proposed to apply by this Bill was, to establish a Marine Board to regulate the merchant service in the same manner as the royal navy was regulated by the Board of Admiralty. Everybody who had any knowledge of the ships of the British fleet must be struck at their decided superiority over those employed in mercantile expeditions. This arose from the great care that was taken to suffer none but seaworthy vessels and competent persons to be employed in the former-mentioned service. He wished to see a Board established which should exercise a similar surveillance over the ships engaged in commerce, to see not only that they were properly constructed and fitted, and supplied with the stores and provisions necessary for the voyage about to be undertaken, but that no persons should be put in charge and command of them but those whose scientific and practical knowledge of navigation rendered them worthy of the task.

Sir E. Codrington

seconded the motion.

Mr. Roebuck

rose to order. The eighteenth clause of the Bill imposed a tax. He submitted, therefore, that the Bill, according to the standing orders, should have been preceded by a resolution in a Committee of the whole House.

The Speaker

said, the usual course was to print such clauses in italics, but that was not the case in the present instance, and the objection of the hon. Member must therefore prevail.

Bill withdrawn.

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