§ CAPTAIN PRICE (Devonport)
asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether it is the fact that the Union Passenger Steamships, some of the Orient Line, and all Her Majesty's Troopships, carry sufficient boats for all on board, with due regard to the safe navigation of the vessel, to the rapid lowering' of the boats, and to their safe carriage in bad weather; and, whether the Board of Trade will consider the advisibility of enforcing better provision for boat accommodation in passenger ships?
§ THE PRESIDENT (Mr. MUNDELLA) (Sheffield, Brightside)
The Question of the hon. and gallant Member only appeared on the Notice Paper this morning, and I have not had time to ascertain the provisions made by the Union Steamship Company, the Orient Line, and Her Majesty's troopships with regard to boat accommodation. As regards the last part of the Question, I must remind him that the Board of Trade have only power to enforce the Statute Law, and to see that the boats required by the statutory scale are supplied and are efficient; and that is always done. As I have twice before stated to the House, I have appointed a Departmental Committee of practical men to inquire and report on the whole subject.
§ MR. MACFARLANE (Argyll)
asked, if the right hon. Gentleman would instruct the Committee to inquire into the practice of leaving the doors of the watertight compartments open during voyages; and into the strength and stability of those compartments, as they 257 generally gave way when called into requisition?
§ MR. MUNDELLA
, in reply, said, this was a matter quite apart from the question of boats, and, he imagined, would come under the purview of the Royal Commission to inquire into the causes of loss of life at sea. He would inquire into the matter, and see that the attention of the Commission was drawn to it.