HC Deb 25 April 1882 vol 268 cc1405-6

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether, having regard to the numerous complaints and abuses brought to light during last Session, and to the very rapid emigration taking place at the present moment, he is prepared to revise the Passenger Acts, more particularly in the interests of young unprotected girls, and in the direction of the recommendations put forward by the Board of Trade officials and sanctioned by himself in his Minute of 5th July 1881?


Sir, I hope the object the hon. Member has in view, in common with myself, will be obtained without further legislation. The Report of the Board of Trade officials and my Minute thereon were forwarded in August last to the principal ship owners in the United Kingdom, and also to the principal officers in the various ports, with instructions to report to the Board of Trade any ship carrying emigrants to the United States which did not comply with the recommendations issued by the Board. The principal ship owners, with very few exceptions, have expressed their willingness to meet the suggestions of the Board as soon as they possibly can. The Reports of the principal officers at the various ports show that the number of vessels in which the suggestions of the Board of Trade had not been adopted is steadily diminishing, and there are now very few vessels carrying emigrants that have neglected to adopt them. The Board of Trade will continue their efforts to secure the compliance of all ship owners; but they hope to be able to secure this without further legislation.


gave Notice that, in consequence of the unsatisfactory answer of the right hon. Gentleman, he would take an early opportunity of calling attention to this subject; and on Thursday he would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether his attention had been called to a paragraph in the papers stating that seven emigrants had died on the way to New York on board an emigrant ship, and that the surgeon reported that these persons embarked in a very weak state of health, and were passed by the emigration officer at the English port; and whether he would cause full inquiry to be made as to how it was that those persons were passed by the emigration agent at the English port?