HC Deb 09 March 1882 vol 267 cc454-5

asked the President of the Board of Trade, If he has satisfied himself that there is no criminal Law applicable to the case of the master of the British ship ''Jeddah,'' who, on the voyage from Singapore to Arabia, abandoned his ship with many hundred pilgrims on board, and that there is no means by which that captain's conduct can be submitted to the ordeal of a criminal prosecution, or by which, in any way, he can be subjected to penalties more severe than the temporary suspension of certificate imposed by the local Wreck Commissioners at Aden; or, if he has not ascertained these points, with what Department of Her Majesty's Government the function of doing so lies?


, in reply, said, that when the Report of the local Wreck Commissioners on the abandonment of the Jeddah became known the Board of Trade felt that the punishment of the master was altogether inadequate to the magnitude of the offence; and, accordingly, the whole case was reviewed by them. But the difficulties in the way of a criminal prosecution were found to be insuperable, owing to the absence of witnesses and the fact that the captain had gone on to Singapore, and probably to New Zealand. He learned that the question had been under the consideration of the Government at Singapore, and the Attorney General there advised that no criminal prosecution should be undertaken. Though the suspension of the certificate for three years was an inadequate punishment, he did not think that the penalty would be confined to that. It appeared to him from the stigma attaching to his character the captain never could obtain employment as master of a ship again.