HC Deb 01 March 1881 vol 258 c1944

asked the President of the Board of Trade, If he is aware that the following ships belonging to the Castle Line of steamers were cleared from Dartmouth during the months of August and September last year as "short ships," although carrying a larger number of passengers than is allowed for "short ships "under the Passengers Acts:" the "Kinfauns Castle," the "Warwick Castle," the "Flamingo," the "Balmoral Castle," the "Grantully Castle," and the "Conway Castle;" and, whether he will produce any Correspondence which has passed between the Board of Trade and the managers of the Castle Line, and any Reports made by the officials of the Board of Trade with respect to the steps taken to prevent a similar course being pursued in the case of the "Dublin Castle," belonging to the same line, which was cleared from Dartmouth on 1st October last?


said, he had received no information which led him to believe that the Passenger Acts had been violated in the case of the ships named in the first part of the Question. With regard to the Dublin Castle, he received information some time ago that more passengers had been carried than appeared in the list sent to the Department. On making inquiry of the owners he found that the list sent to the Department was correct at the time the ship loft London; but that, subsequently, they had received a very urgent message from the Cape Government asking them to take over a small body of Cape Riflemen whose presence was immediately required, and that they had not felt justified in refusing. He thought this reason for infringing the letter of the law sufficient; but he had caused a letter to be addressed to the owners directing that in future cases of the kind they should first obtain the permission of the Department. He did not think that the public interest would be served by the production of the official Correspondence which had taken place on this subject.