HC Deb 28 March 1873 vol 215 cc298-9

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether he is prepared to inform the House as to the names of the gentlemen the Government will recommend to Her Majesty as Royal Commissioners to inquire into the condition of the Mercantile Marine and report thereon, and also as to the terms of the reference?


I am able, Sir, in answer to the Question of the hon. Gentleman to state to the House the form of the Reference which is to be made to the Royal Commission about to be constituted, and the names of its Members. The form of Reference will be this: That a Commission should forthwith issue to make inquiry with regard to the alleged unseaworthiness of British ships arising from overloading, deck-loading, defective construction, condition, equipment, form, or machinery, age, or improper stowage; and also to inquire into the present system of Marine Insurance, and the state of the law on the liability of shipowners for injury to those whom they employ, and the effects of under-manning ships; and to suggest the best remedy for the removal of such evils as may have arisen from the matters aforesaid. With respect to the names which had been selected, and had received the approval of Her Majesty, they are as follows:—The Duke of Somerset (Chairman), His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, the right hon. T. Milner Gibson, Admiral Sir James Hope, the hon. Henry George Liddell, M.P., Mr. Thomas Brassey, M.P., Mr. Henry Cadogan Rothery, Registrar of the High Court of Admiralty; Mr. Arthur Cohen, Barrister-at-law; Mr. Peter Denny, of an eminent shipbuilding firm at Dumbarton; Mr. George Duncan, member of the committee of Lloyd's Register; Captain Edward Dover Edgell, head of the Survey Staff of Lloyd's Salvage Association; and Mr. Charles Watkin Merrifield, Principal of the Royal School of Naval Architecture and Engineering. Instructions are contained in the Warrant, to the effect that the Commission shall first and separately report to Her Majesty upon the question of overloading; and shall secondly and separately report upon the question of unseaworthiness and defective construction.