HC Deb 08 July 1878 vol 241 c963

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether his attention has been called to the speech of Lord Shaftesbury when distributing the prizes earned by boys on board the training ships "Arethusa" and "Chichester" on the 3rd instant, when he is reported to have said— In considering the vast rising population of this country, he lamented that more than two-thirds of the sailors employed by English shipowners were foreigners, and these, as a rule, were not so good seamen as Englishmen, and they would desert us in case of war; and, whether, with a view to a remedy in some measure for this alarming state of affairs, he will give any encouragement to the Training Schools and Ships Bill for second reading on Wednesday next, the object of that Bill being to replace the large foreign element in our Mercantile Marine with British seamen?


Sir, I fear that in the pressure of Business my attention has not been called to the speech to which the hon. and gallant Gentleman alludes. With respect to the Bill for training school ships, it was always, I believe, opposed by my noble Friend Lord Norton, who preceded me at the Board of Trade; and if the hon. and gallant Gentleman presses it now, I should feel obliged to take the same course. During the autumn I shall consider his Bill and shall hope to give him my personal opinion respecting it next Session.