§ MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that employés of the Board of Trade have visited seamen's boarding-houses in the Tyneside district, for the purpose of inducing seamen to ship on particular vessels; and, whether this practice has the sanction of the Board of Trade?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Sir MICHAEL HICKS BEACH, Bristol, W.)
I understand that outdoor officers attached to certain mercantile marine offices on the Tyne, which are under the superintendence of local Marine Boards, have, in carrying into effect their duties under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, Section 127, occasionally visited seamen's boarding-houses with a view to getting seamen for ships about to go to sea. The practice has existed at North Shields for 38 years, but owing to the general superabundance of seamen waiting employment on the Tyne it is rarely exercised.
In reply to a further question by Mr. BRADLAUGH,
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
said: Of course I would prevent, supposing that I have power to do so, anything amounting to an improper interference with seamen. If the hon. Member or any of those who are interested in the matter, desire that any action should be taken by the Board of Trade, I must ask them to bring the matter under my consideration.