§ Mr. Hutt
wished to ask a question of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of the Admiralty. The right hon. Gentleman was no doubt aware that in the course of last Session an Act was passed that all British seamen should register themselves, and that they should obtain a certificate of such registration, without which they could not be received on board of any British ship, and that if the captain received them he would be liable to a penalty. In the coasting trade of this country, there was a considerable body of foreign sailors engaged. The Bill of last Session afforded those men no opportunity of registering themselves: they had consequently been thrown out of employment, after, in many instances, having been engaged in the British coasting trade for ten, twenty, or thirty years, and although they were reckoned among the very best sailors employed in the trade. He wished to ask whether it was the intention of the Government to propose any measure this Session with a view to remove this hardship?
was understood to say, that although many foreign seamen had been thrown out of employment by the Merchant Seamen Act of last year, yet all foreigners who had become domiciled in this country, by obtaining a certificate of their registration and taking the oath of allegiance, which they might do at a charge of two shillings, were qualified to serve as seamen in the British merchant service.