HC Deb 19 June 1879 vol 247 c169

asked the President of the Board of Trade, If his attention has been called to the case of the brigantine "Calenick," which the Board of Trade caused to be surveyed at Hamburg in 1877; and if it is true that such survey was illegal, and that serious injury was done to the vessel, and that the owner claimed damages against the Board of Trade, but is practically without redress unless by an expensive process at law?


The case of the Calenick took place before I was connected with the Board of Trade. It has been repeatedly under the consideration of the Board, and has been previously mentioned in this House. In February, 1878, a Question, substantially to the same effect as that which is now put by my hon. Friend, was asked of Sir Charles Adderley. The Calenick was abandoned at sea, and the examination of the vessel took place with the sanction and approval of the Wreck Commissioner, for the purposes of the official inquiry then being held before him, and without protest on the part of the owner, who was made cognizant of, and virtually acquiesced in, the action taken by the Board of Trade. As far as I can ascertain, no serious or, indeed, any injury was done to the vessel, which the Court found to be unseaworthy. With regard to the recovery of damages, we have fully considered the matter; and being satisfied that, to the best of our judgment, there is no ground whatever for compensating the owner, are, of course, unable to make him any grant out of the public funds at our disposal for such purposes. I need hardly add that it is competent for him to avail himself of the usual remedies to enforce his claim, if so advised.