HC Deb 16 February 1877 vol 232 cc464-5

asked the President of the Board of Trade, If it be the in- tention of the Government to bring in a Bill to encourage the establishment of training ships for the purpose of ensuring a better supply of qualified seamen?


A good deal, Sir, is being done by the Admiralty increasing the number of ships lent for the purpose of training boys, and in the encouragement given to the Boy Class of Naval Reserve. Eight out of 16 of these ships get aid from public money as industrial schools; some are pauper schools, and might get aid from poor rates, but do not. I attempted to introduce clauses in the Merchant Shipping Act for giving all ships training boys for the Merchant Service aid from the Mercantile Marine Fund, but I do not see my way to giving them any very effectual aid in that way at present. I shall be very glad to get encouragement from the shipowners to propose a small fee, under careful conditions, on engaging crews at the shipping offices, but the shipping interest is not sufficiently flourishing at this moment for me to suggest this without such encouragement. I do not think the system of compulsory apprenticeship which existed before the repeal of the Navigation Laws can ever be revived.