HC Deb 07 May 1877 vol 234 cc363-4

asked the President of the Board of Trade, If it is true that the ship "Clydesdale," after being in the hands of tradesmen at Greenock for more than a month, and under the inspection of the two local surveyors to Lloyds Register of Shipping, and repaired to class with them, was frequently visited by the local surveyors of the Board of Trade while being so repaired, and no objection made against the vessel; if it be true that when repairs were nearly completed, cargo taken on board, and the crew shipped, the Board of Trade caused Mr. Price, their chief officer for the Clyde, and three others to survey the "Clydesdale," who reported her unseaworthy; whether he is aware that the owner thereupon demanded a special survey from Lloyds, who appointed Mr. Mumford of Glasgow and Mr. Williamson of Sunderland to join Mr. Boolds and Mr. Couchman (the local surveyors) on the survey, and if he is aware these four surveyors unanimously pronounced the vessel perfectly seaworthy; if it is true that Mr. Turner, the principal surveyor of the Board of Trade, was unable to confirm the decision of his colleagues when the ship was released; and, whether the Board of Trade is prepared to make compensation to the owner of the "Clydesdale?"


The officers of the Board of Trade, Sir, may not interfere with a ship until she is brought forward for some service at sea. I do not know of any of them visiting the Clydesdale while she was under repair in the hands of Lloyd's surveyors. If they did, they would not interfere while such repairs were incomplete. At the proper time the district officer, without any direction from the Board of Trade, exercised his judgment as to her fitness to go safely to sea, as was his duty, and detained her. The owners resorted to the provisions of the 6th section of the Act of last year, and appointed a surveyor out of the statutory list, who with two Board of Trade surveyors, agreed that the ship should be further surveyed. Upon this the owners, instead of appealing to the Court of Survey, asked the Board of Trade to send down one of their principal surveyors, who went down to Glasgow and reported that the ship might be allowed to go to see without serious danger to life, but that the preliminary detention was on reasonable grounds and perfectly justified by the appearance of certain timber heads. The Clydesdale was thereupon released, but compensation, of course, has not been applied for.