HC Deb 17 February 1846 vol 83 cc1049-50

moved for— Copies of all Reports and Correspondence respecting the loss of the emigrant ship Cataraque, in Bass's Straits, in August last, having 369 emigrants on board;" also a "Copy of the Report of the Officer at Liverpool, on the state of the Cataraque before sailing from Liverpool in April, 1845, and what the length of Contract: Whether the captain and mate had passed any examination, and how long the captain had been at sea. In moving for those Reports, he had no wish to cast blame on any one; but where they saw out of 415 persons who left Liverpool on board that ship, that no fewer than 369 were lost, it did appear that something should be done to investigate the cause, to prevent a recurrence of such a calamity, and to preserve the lives of people in future. Whether there was a defect in the ship, or whether the officers were to blame—whether the charts on board were defective or incorrect, or whether the lighthouses were wrongly situated (and there he should beg to say, that he hoped all lighthouses would be placed under the management of the Government shortly) he did not mean to say; but he thought that a strict inquiry ought to be instituted.


wished merely to state, without offering any opposition to the Motion, that the vessel alluded to was a remarkably well found ship. She had an experienced captain, and her owners were most respectable. It should also be remembered that out of above 50,000 persons carried out to the Australian Colonies, under a similar system, the unfortunate case under consideration was the very first loss that had been sustained.

Returns ordered.