§ MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether inquiry will be held into the circumstances attending the fatal collision between the Princess Henrietta and the Comtesse de Flandre; whether the Committee of Experts, appointed about 18 months ago by the Board of Trade to consider the whole question of signalling at sea, especially in foggy weather, have sent in their Report; and, if not, whether the Board of Trade will urge them to carry out their inquiry as promptly as possible; and whether, having regard to the increased frequency of collisions, the Board of Trade will take steps, in conjunction with the Foreign Office, to bring together, at the earliest date, the International Conference as to Signalling at Sea, originally suggested by the United States Government?
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Sir M. HICKS BEACH,) Bristol, W.
The steamers referred to are ships belonging to a Foreign Government, and the collision between them happened on the high seas. Of course, the Board of Trade have no authority to order any inquiry. The Committee appointed to revise the Inter- 1396 national Code of Signal Book have made an interim Report which will be submitted to Foreign Governments as soon as the revised book is received from the printers. They are now considering the question of signalling in fogs, and are in communication with owners and masters of steamships thereupon. No time is being lost. The date on which the Maritime Conference at Washington will commence its labours rests with the Government of the United States, and has not yet been fixed.