HC Deb 17 July 1879 vol 248 cc613-4

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether it be the fact that in 1875 or 1876 Her Majesty's Government caused surveyors to be appointed at certain of the Black Sea ports to see that vessels were loaded in conformity to the Merchant Shipping Acts; and, if so, at what ports these were appointed; and, whether any of these surveyors have since been dismissed, or the survey discontinued; and, if so, at what ports this has been done, when, and for what reason?


Sir, the Consuls were directed to appoint Surveyors at Taganrog, Nicolaieff, Galatz, Sulina, Berdianski, and Kertch, in 1875. They were given up by my Predecessor at the Board of Trade in December, 1877, as the system was, I am informed, found to have failed in its object, owing to many reasons. Among others, great difficulty was experienced by the Consuls in obtaining persons who were at once trustworthy, independent, and competent to undertake the inspection of grain-laden vessels; and the results, after careful investigation, appeared to be unsatisfactory and inadequate; and in the case of an inquiry before the Wreck Commissioner, it was found that when the master or owner was distinctly in fault for not having complied with the Act, he could not be dealt with because the Surveyor at the foreign port had passed the ship. I shall be happy to look over the Papers upon this subject, and to show such as throw light upon the matter to the hon. Gentleman.