§ MR. HAMBRO
asked the President of the Board of Trade, If he will state whether he proposes to act on the recommendation of the coroner's jury and the Board of Trade Court of Inquiry, in the case of the "Druid" exploding, whereby two lives were lost, and five seamen dangerously scalded; and if he will bring in a Bill to extend to all steamers the statutory provisions as to surveys now applicable only to passenger steamers; and, whether he proposes to take any steps against the owners, under section 11 of the Merchant Shipping Act of 1871, for not keeping that ship seaworthy?
§ MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE
in reply, said, that the case of the Druid was a very bad one. The Board of Trade inquiry decided that the explosion was the result of culpable negligence on the part of the owner, but whether the negligence brought him within the Merchant Shipping Act of 1871 he was unable on his 224 own authority to say. He had, however, referred the question to the Home Office to ascertain whether a prosecution would he against the owners or others under that section of the Act, or in any other way. The question whether all steamers should be surveyed compulsorily as if they were passenger ships was part of a much larger question—namely, whether all ships should be so surveyed, and upon this question he could not be expected to give an answer especially as it was one of the first questions which should be considered by the Royal Commission. To-morrow probably he would be able to communicate the names of the Royal Commissioners and the exact terms of the reference.