HC Deb 10 March 1851 vol 114 cc1166-7

said, it would be in the recollection of the House that, in introducing the Mercantile Marine Bill last year, the right hon. President of the Board of Trade announced his intention to bring in a general measure this Session for the consolidation of all measures relating to navigation. Hon. Members were aware of the disturbances which were now taking place at all the principal seaports in Great Britain, and they knew, probably, that these disturbances were the result of the dissatisfaction entertained by some of the seamen to the Bill of last year. He wished to know whether the right hon. Gentleman would introduce a Consolidation Act, and if it was his intention to move any Amendments in the Mercantile Marine Bill of last Session?


said, the noble Lord had referred to two subjects of an entirely distinct character. The first had reference to the consolidation of the Navigation Acts. Last year he (Mr. Labouchere) had introduced a Bill to consolidate these Acts, stating, at the same time, that he hoped during the recess hon. Members interested in the mercantile marine of this country would carefully consider the Bill, and favour him with their views and suggestions on the subject. He had since received many opinions respecting the consolidated Bill, and from them it appeared that it was desirable to defer any further legislation, at least until it was seen whether any further alteration was to be made in the laws in question. With respect to the Mercantile Marine Bill of last Session, he had to state that it was not his intention to propose to Parliament to alter any of the main provisions of that Act, because he believed the main and principal provisions of that Act were most useful for all classes interested in shipping. But there were points of detail connected with it susceptible of amendment, and it was his intention, in the course of the present Session of Parliament, when he saw the further working of the Bill, to propose an amendment of that part of it of which he thought just complaint might be made.

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