HC Deb 15 February 1858 vol 148 cc1369-70

said, he wished to ask the Vice President of the Board of Trade whether any certificate (under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854) has been granted by the Board of Trade for the Prince Albert, 2,500 tons, iron steamship, that sailed with troops for India in the autumn of last year?


Sir, the circumstances of the case were these. This vessel was taken up by the East India Company for the purpose of conveying troops to India. It was surveyed by the surveyors of the East India Company, who approved it as suitable and seaworthy. It was then surveyed by the surveyors of the Board of Trade, who found that it did not comply with some of the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act. The surveyors did not report against it; indeed, I believe they considered that it was a good first-rate vessel. Under these circumstances the Board of Trade refused to grant a certificate in conformity with the Act, but they said that, inasmuch as the vessel had been taken up for the conveyance of troops to India, and the case was one of emergency, they would offer no objection to its sailing, and it therefore sailed without a certificate.


said, he would now give notice of his intention to ask, on the following or some other day, the Chairman of the Board of Directors whether in their advertisement for contracts for ships by public tender, notice was given that vessels would be permitted to sail without the certificate required by the Merchant Shipping Act.