HC Deb 03 May 1889 vol 335 cc1085-6

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the steamers Miranda, Helvetia and Dresden, of respectively 1,584, 2,765, and 2,850 tons net register, recently built in this country and now owned by foreigners, had the full advantage of present reading of Tonnage Measurement Acts as regards deductions for crew space, and inclusive of light and air spaces, in calculations for arriving at net tonnage; what would be the net register tonnage of these steamers if measured under the proposed new Bill; and whether, if the Bill passes and is made retrospective, these steamers will pay light and other dues here and abroad on their present registers; and, if so, whether they will have an advantage on similar British steamers to which the new Act being retrospective would apply?


I have not been able to obtain the particulars which would enable me to reply to the second paragraph of this question; but I understand that the three ships to which the hon. Member refers are registered as German ships, and therefore it would be in ordinary cases assumed that they had been measured before register under the German law. The German law is the international law,. which is not the law of measurement in accordance with the Isabella decision. But if, as I understand from the first paragraph of the question, these ships, or any of them, before becoming registered as German ships were measured according to the Isabella decision, then no doubt if the Bill now before the House passed in its present shape, and those ships were again to come within the ports of this country, they would be subject to re-measurement.

In reply to a further question from Sir E. Bates,


said: I mean ports in this country at which there are officers of the Board of Trade who could perform the duty of re-measurement.