§ MR. J. C. STEVENSON (South Shields)
asked the Secretary to the Board of Trade, Whether it is the case that the Board, after having, some years ago, removed from the Register of Shipping all vessels which are moved by towing, have recently resolved that such vessels must be registered; whether the owners of such vessels, after having 1397 been required at some expense to obtain a "measurement brief," in lieu of a certificate of registry, are now put to a further expense for registration; and, whether such expense is considerably greater in the case of vessels which were formerly on the Register than in the case of vessels previously under a foreign flag?
§ THE SECRETARY (Baron HENRY DE WORMS) (Liverpool, East Toxteth)
It is not the case that the Board have removed from the Register of Shipping all vessels which are moved by towing. Such vessels were not required to be registered at all until recently; but it has now been decided that they must be registered, in order to comply with the law. It is the fact that the owners of unregistered vessels who have obtained a certificate of measurement are charged a small fee of 10s. and upwards for survey prior to registration. The hon. Member, however, is perhaps under a misapprehension as to a measurement brief being equal to a certificate of registry. It is not so, although it has been sometimes used for purposes of clearance with the Customs. The expense is greater in the case of vessels which were formerly on the Register than in the case of vessels previously under a foreign flag, inasmuch as the law requires a certificate of sea worthiness in the former case, but not in the latter.