HC Deb 09 April 1889 vol 335 c18
MR. HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether vessels flying a foreign flag, and plying from British ports are subject, as a condition precedent to obtaining letters of clearance, to such regulations as are laid down for British vessels in like manner as British vessels plying from foreign ports; and, in such case how many passengers the steam packet Comtesse de Flandre was authorized by the Board of Trade regulations to carry; how many she had on board at the time of her loss; how many life-belts and life-buoys she carried, and if the readily-detachable positions of those was ascertained by a Government Inspector; and when the Committee sitting under the Saving Life at Sea Act may be expected to present the rules as to life-saving gear which they recommended?


Foreign vessels carrying passengers between a British and foreign port are not liable to survey by the Board of Trade. I am not aware how many passengers the Comtesse de Flandre had on board at the time of her loss, nor what appliances for saving life she was provided with. I am informed that the Life Saving Appliances Committee, to which the hon. Member refers, have very nearly completed their labours.


Do I understand that foreign vessels plying in a British port are not under the regulations of the Board of Trade?


The Board of Trade can only act under the law. A foreign vessel plying between a British and a foreign port is not liable to survey by the Board of Trade.


I beg to give notice that I shall call attention to this matter on a future occasion.