HC Deb 01 July 1889 vol 337 cc1154-5

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now in a position to make a statement as to the alleged shipping of pauper lads as seamen from the Liverpool Workhouse?


The question of the hon. Member arose out of the alleged shipment of these lads on the steamship Adriatic. The whole crew of the Adriatic were inspected and passed by two experienced officers of the Emigration Department—one a sailor and the other a surgeon. Captain Shoosmith, one of these officers, reports as follows:— With respect to the clearance of the steamship Adriatic, referred to in annexed minute, I beg to report that, in regard to the efficiency of the crew, I had no hesitation whatever in passing them as quite satisfactory. Every man passed myself and Dr. Spooner on his name being called from the ship's articles, and then proceeded to the boat to which he was stationed, each boat having a crew composed of seamen, firemen, and stewards. I had all the boats lifted from the chocks, and four of them swung out and lowered, each by its own crew, which was done in a very creditable manner, both as to time and ability. The chief engineer expressed himself quite satisfied as to the capability of his firemen and trimmers, and I am not aware that any paupers were among them, though for the work of the latter I presume that skilled labour is not required, and whatever a man may be, if he is good in health, and up to the average of physical strength, I am of opinion that he is equal to the task of shovelling and wheeling about coals. If from any cause I am not satisfied with the efficiency of the crew of a passenger steamer I should certainly refuse clearance. The other officer, Dr. Spooner, reports as follows:— I beg to report that I examined the crew of the Adriatic and found their general health good. I had no occasion to reject any of them on the score of sickness or any other cause within my province.