HC Deb 21 January 1878 vol 237 cc252-3

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether he is aware that in consequence of section 27 of "The Mercantile Marine Act, 1850,"(13 and 14 Vic), not having been re-enacted by "The Merchant Shipping Act, 1854,"those master mariners and mates who, having by voluntary examination received certificates of competency from the Trinity House, and who, either from absence abroad or from other circumstances, had not, prior to the passing of the Act of 1854, exchanged their Trinity House certificates for the Board of Trade certificate of competency under that statute, are not, although they may still possess their antecedent "certificates of competency," any longer permitted, as they previously were, to command vessels chartered by the Crown for the conveyance of troops, prisoners, mails, Government stores, & c.; and, if he finds such to be the case, he will endeavour to replace such "certificated masters" in the position they formerly held in reference to such command?


Sir, by the Mercantile Marine Act of 1850 the Board of Trade granted certificates of competency to masters and mates who had certificates under the previous voluntary system. The Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, did not continue this power, and certificates of competency could thereafter only be granted on examinations by local Marine Boards, 2,610 persons had the old certificates, of whom 540 did not get them exchanged for Board of Trade certificates before the power to do so expired in 1855. If any of these survive and want certificates now, they can got certificates of service which are equally valid at law for merchant ships; and if not accepted for vessels conveying mails or troops, that is a matter of regulation or arrangement between the departments and the charterers, and has nothing to do with the law as to certificates.