HC Deb 26 February 1886 vol 302 c1384

asked the President of the beard of Trade, Whether he is aware that seamen or officers detained from sailing with their ships by order of the beard of Trade, in order to give evidence on inquiries into marine accidents or casualties, are only recompensed for the loss of their wages until the termination of their evidence, and are then left adrift without any compensation for the loss of their voyage, and possibly their employment; and, whether steps cannot be taken to remedy this injustice?


Sir, I find it is the practice of the beard of Trade to detain officers and seamen of the Mercantile Marine as witnesses for inquiries into shipping casualties, and nothing is paid them beyond an allowance during the period of detention. The Board are aware that the detention of a seaman occasionally results in the loss of voyage; but they endeavour to avoid as much as possible taking seamen out of their ships for the purposes of an inquiry. I regret that it is not in our power to compensate witnesses for consequential loss incidental upon the discharge of civic duties.