HC Deb 14 February 1884 vol 284 cc872-3

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether complaints have reached him of overcrowding on board the Orient Steam Navigation Company's steamship Warwick Castle, which sailed from Plymouth for Sydney on January 19th with over 600 emigrants; whether the ship underwent, before sailing, any, and what, official inspection with a view to insuring the sufficiency of accommodation for that number of emigrants; whether the ship is of any more than 2,000 tons burden; and, if he will order a further and more searching inspection to be made as soon as may be after the ship's arrival at Sydney?


, Sir, the vessel referred to by the hon. Member appears to be the Warwick, and not the Warwick Castle. She has been chartered by the Orient Steam Navigation Company, and sailed from Plymouth for Sydney on January 19. This vessel is entitled under the Merchant Shipping Acts to carry 632 passengers, and under the Passenger Acts to carry 586 statute adults. On the present voyage there were 623 passengers on board, equal to 515 &½ statute adults. The net registered tonnage of the vessel is 1,648, the gross tonnage 2,527. The vessel underwent before sailing the usual official survey and inspection, and no complaints as to overcrowding have reached the Board of Trade. The Board of Trade have, how-over, communicated with the Agent General for New South Wales, and have suggested that the vessel should be inspected on her arrival at Sydney and the result reported.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say if any other complaints have reached him?


I am aware of no complaint except that contained in the Question, and a similar Question put to me by another Member of Parliament.