HC Deb 29 April 1889 vol 335 cc670-1
MR. DONKIN (Tynemouth)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that, by an Order in Council of the 26th June 1873, Her Majesty was pleased to direct that merchant ships belonging to the German Empire which were propelled by steam should, after the 1st January 1873, be deemed to be of the tonnage denoted on their certificates of registry, or other national papers, in the same manner, and to the same extent in and to which the tonnage denoted in the certificates of registers of British ships is deemed to be the tonnage of such ships; provided that, if the owner of any German ship should desire the deduction for engine room on his ship to be estimated under the rules for engine room measurement and deduction applicable to British ships, the engine room should be measured, and the deduction calculated, according to the British rules, and that Orders in Council to a similar effect have been made with respect to ships of Italy, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Greece, the United States, and other countries, and, also, having regard to the 26th Section of "The Merchant Shipping Act, 1854," it is intended, by the Merchant Shipping Tonnage Bill (now before the House), to deprive Foreign ships, and ships of the United States, which, by virtue of such Orders in Council, have had their engine rooms measured, and the crew spaces measured, and the deduction calculated according to the British rules now in force, of the benefit of the deductions appearing on their register, or on the certificates of British tonnage granted to such ships?


The facts as stated in the question are accurate. The tonnage system as it existed in 1873 is the basis of International Tonnage. It is not intended by the Merchant Shipping (Tonnage) Bill now before the House, to treat foreign ships in any way differently from British ships, but to put right an anomaly not discovered in British law until 1879. The Bill before the House will preserve the International system intact.

MR. J. MORLEY (Newcastle-on-Tyne)

Will not the effect of preserving the International system intact be to give an advantage to Foreign over British ships?




Will not English steamers be taxed on more tonnage than Foreign steamers?


I think the hon. Member had better put the question down on the Paper.

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