§ MR. BROADHURST (Nottingham)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the action of the shipowners of the northern seaports in organizing imported foreign and incompetent home labour for the purpose of manning their vessels during the seamen's strike; and whether the Board of Trade has power to interfere in the case of vessels proceeding to sea having on board insufficient or incompetent crews; if not whether this subject will have his early attention?
§ MR. MUNRO FERGUSON (Leith)
I beg also to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the officer representing the Board of Trade at Leith, who grants certificates to seamen, is nominated by the Marine Board, a body controlled by the shipowners; whether he is aware 424 that the seamen have no direct representation on that Board; and whether he will consider the desirability of securing to the men such representation, or removing this officer from the control of the shipowners?
§ SIR M. H. BEACH
The Board of Trade have no power to interfere in the case of vessels proceeding to sea having on board insufficient or incompetent crews. In regard to the question of the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. Munro Ferguson), I may say that all officers of the local Marine Boards are nominated by the local Marine Boards. There are on each local Marine Board six members elected by the shipowners, and four members nominated by the Board of Trade, and the Mayor or Provost and such Stipendary Magistrate or Magistrates as the Board of Trade appoints. I am taking steps, when the time for which present nominated members have been appointed expires, to appoint some representatives of seamen on those Boards. At the present moment I am seeking for such a representative at Leith and London, where there are vacancies amongst the four members to be nominated by the Board of Trade.