§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.
§ Clause 3 (As to Charges for testing and affixing Proof Mark).
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 25; Noes 34: Majority 9.
§ Clause struck out.
§ Clauses 4 and 5 agreed to.
§ Clause 6 (Inspector to be appointed by Board of Trade).
said, he objected to the proposal that the inspectors should be appointed by the Government.
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 27; Noes 31: Majority 4.
§ Clause struck out.1137
§ Clause 7 agreed to:—Clause 8 struck out.
§ Clause 9 (Vessels to be equipped with stamped Anchors and Cables).
§ SIR JAMES ELPHINSTONE
said, that after the mutilations which the Bill had undergone he should advise his hon. Friend (Mr. Laird) to withdraw it. At the same time, he considered the conduct of the Government with reference to it was most extraordinary. The object of the Bill was to save a very great sacrifice year by year of life and property, notwithstanding which, upon the flimsy pretext that some little additional trouble would be cast upon the Board of Trade, the President of the Board had given it his persistent opposition. He hoped it would be understood, that in assuming the responsibility of opposing this Bill, the Government also assumed the responsibility of resisting the attempt to save those lives and this property, and next year the Bill would be re-introduced at an earlier period of the Session.
§ MR. MILNER GIBSON
said, that while 2½ per cent of the total lives lost by shipwreck might be saved by good iron and good workmanship, the Bill would materially lessen the chances of getting damages against shipowners in cases of neglect on their part. He repudiated the charge brought against the Government. It appeared to him that the Bill required considerable amendment, and the only object was to make it a useful and workable measure.
§ MR. LAIRD
said, that, in his opinion, the Government had shown anything but a desire to pass the Bill. When he first brought it under the notice of the House, he was told that Lloyd's and the London Shipowners' Association were opposed to it. He had shown that they were in favour of the measure. He had written to the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade to say, that if he had any suggestions to make which would not interfere with the principle of the Bill, he should be happy to attend to them. If the right hon. Gentleman had informed him, "that he meant to oppose the Bill clause by clause," he should not have taken up the time of the House with it on that occasion; but, on the contrary, he had been led to understand, that if certain additions were made, the Government would allow it to pass. He thought the course pursued 1138 by the right hon. Gentleman, assisted by the hon. Member for Sunderland, who had long taken upon himself to represent the shipowners of the country, was an unfair one, and he therefore begged leave to withdraw the Bill, with an intimation that he should introduce it early next Session.
§ MR. FERRAND
said, the course taken by the Government showed, on their part, a disregard of the evidence taken by the Committee on this subject.
said, he had never assumed to represent the shipowners of the country. They bad generally been wrong, while almost all his views on shipping had been embodied in Acts of Parliament.
§ MR. LIDDELL
said, he approved the principle of the measure, the design of which was to save some of those lives that were lost annually by shipwrecks, but he thought the details of this Bill were defective.
§ LORD CLARENCE PAGET
explained, that the Admiralty could not get the smaller chains of any other firm than Brown & Co.
§ SIR JOHN HAY
said, he hoped it would be noticed that the manufacture of bad anchors and chains was so profitable that only one firm would make those which were satisfactory to the Admiralty. The Bill would have induced, or compelled, other manufacturers to make as good chains as Messrs. Brown & Co., and thus saved valuable lives in vessels not belonging to the Government, but the Government persisted in throwing out the Bill.
§ House resumed. [No Report.]