§ MR. T. E. SMITH
asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether any decision has been come to as to the seaworthiness of the "Parga;" and, if so, by whom the expenses incurred will have to be paid?
§ MR. CHICHESTER FORTESCUE,
in reply, said, in this case, the hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Plimsoll) having represented to the Board of Trade that the Parga was unseaworthy, the Board of Trade directed her to be surveyed. This was done, under the Act of 1871, by the Chief Emigration Officer of the port of London and three other surveyors. They stated that they could not survey her thoroughly on account of her cargo; but from the defects apparent in the parts which were visible, they could not pronounce her to be seaworthy. Upon that Report the Board of Trade thought it their duty to stop the ship from proceeding to sea until her seaworthiness should be ascertained or her 1298 unseaworthiness secured. Against that decision the owners appealed to the Local Court having Admiralty jurisdiction, and that Court, having considered the matter, ordered a fresh survey, and the fresh surveyors said that they also could not speak with certainty without the cargo being removed. The cargo was then removed, whether in whole or in part he was not quite sure, but sufficiently to enable a complete survey to be held. On the 28th of last month the case came on for final hearing. The Board of Trade had not received an official Copy of the judgment, but it appeared from the reports in the newspapers that—The hull and equipments were not in such a state that the vessel could not proceed to sea without danger to human life"—those being the words of the Act. The Judge stated that all the expenses and costs would have to be paid by the Board of Trade. However that might be, the amount would be the subject of a second hearing on the Report of the Registrar of the Court being received.