HC Deb 15 February 1887 vol 310 c1563
MR. PROVAND (Glasgow, Blackfriars, &c.)

asked the Secretary to the Board of Trade, How it is that no Board of Trade inquiry has yet been made into the running down by the British vessel Thirlmere of the American vessel Andrew Johnson, by which 17 lives were lost, in October 1884; and, when it is intended to hold the inquiry?

THE SECRETARY (Baron HENRY DE WORMS) (Liverpool, East Toxteth)

The Andrew Johnson was an American ship; the Thirlmere was a British ship. The collision took place in the South Atlantic; this is outside the limits of British territorial jurisdiction. We have the statements of the master and extracts from the log of the Thirlmere. We have no statements from the Andrew Johnson, and have no means of getting any. It is not possible, therefore, to hold inquiry by a Wreck Court with the evidence of only one side, and no inquiry will, therefore, be held into the collision. Certain allegations have been made involving imputations of the fitness of the master to hold a certificate. Whether investigation will be ordered, or a prosecution ordered, by this Board in the matter involved in these imputations, is a separate question, and will depend on the action "Smith v. Labouchere" now pending.