HC Deb 25 February 1875 vol 222 c847

asked the President of the Board of Trade, If his attention has been called to the large number of coal-laden vessels which have recently been burnt at sea, and also if his attention has been called to the frequent cases of dismasting of large iron sailing ships; if so, if he will state to the House what course he intends to adopt for the purpose of ascertaining the cause, with the view of diminishing the frequency of such casualties?


The Government have lately resolved to advise the issue of a Royal Commission to inquire into the causes and remedies of the spontaneous combustion of coal ships, which has so much increased. There have been several cases of new large iron sailing ships being dismasted, and the subject is engaging the careful attention of shipowners, naval architects, and the register societies, the parties most interested and acquainted with the subject. I hope they will be able to devise some plan by which the evil may be remedied.