HC Deb 24 October 1884 vol 293 cc152-3

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether he can now announce to the House the names of the Royal Commissioners on Merchant Shipping, and the terms of the reference; and, whether Members will be afforded any opportunity of discussing the subjects to be embraced in the inquiry?


asked, Whether any practical steps have been taken with regard to the appointment of a Royal Commission in reference to Merchant Shipping; and, if it is intended that questions affecting the constitution and functions of the Board of Trade shall come within the scope of the inquiry?


In answer to the Question of the hon. Member, I have to say that the arrangements for the Royal Commission to inquire into this subject are now complete. The names of the Commissioners have been submitted to Her Majesty and approved of, and we hope that the names of the Commissioners and the terms of the Reference will be gazetted in the course of the next day or two. In regard to the second part of the Question of the hon. Member for North Ayrshire, of course I have no power in any way to limit the discretion or liberty of Members of Parliament; but I would suggest that, inasmuch as the whole subject is now to be inquired into, it would be better to postpone any discussion until the Commissioners have made their Report. As to the second Question of the hon. Member for Birkenhead, I may remind him that I stated last Session that the Reference would include the functions and administration of the Marine Department of the Board of Trade.