HC Deb 30 April 1868 vol 191 cc1574-5

said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, If he is aware that large numbers of passengers embark on board certain Foreign Transatlantic Steamers at Southampton without their being subjected to the provisions of the Passenger Acts; and, if there are any reasons why the provisions of those Acts should not be put in force with regard to such steamers in the some way in every respect as that in which such provisions are put in force in regard to British vessels?


, in reply, said, he had taken pains to ascertain from the Mayor of Southampton what was the state of the case. He found that no British subjects were taken on board foreign transatlantic steamers at Southampton; but foreigners did come by small steamers to Southampton, from Havre and other continental ports, for the purpose of taking ship to America. The question of the applicability of the Passenger Acts was submitted to the Law Officers of the Crown in 1857, and an elaborate Opinion was obtained from them to the effect that those Acts did not apply to passengers shipped in transitu. The vessels in question, however, were overhauled on reaching the American port, and the Government of the United States had applied to Her Majesty's Government to make the terms of our Passenger Acts, which were less rigorous than theirs, more strict.

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