HC Deb 14 April 1890 vol 343 cc539-40

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

*(12.20.) MR. BAIRD (Glasgow, Central)

I beg to move the Second Reading of the Clause which stands in my name. Under the Bill, as it stands, shipowners may be required to have their load-lines fixed, and they will have the choice either (of a Surveyor appointed by the Committee of Lloyd's Register, or of one appointed by the Board of Trade. If there is reason to believe that the load-line fixed is not the best one, there are no means of getting it altered until modifications have been arrived at with the Board of Trade. The Bill is based on the recommendation of the Load Line Committee, who, in their Report, expressed an opinion in favour of the setting up of a Body of a more repre- sentative character than the Board of Trade to deal with the matter. In the Schedule I have attached to the Bill I have provided such an Authority as is aimed at in the Report of the Committee; but I am not absolutely wedded to it, and shall be willing to alter it in any way the House may think desirable.

New Clause— The registered owner of any ship shall have a right of appeal from the decision of the Board of Trade, or of any corporation, association, or committee appointed by the Board of Trade for the purpose of fixing the disc of any such ship as aforesaid, to a committee, which shall he appointed from time to time by the President of the Board of Trade in accordance with the schedule to this Act,"—(Mr. Baird,) —brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."


I quite recognise the object of my hon. Friend in moving this clause, and entirely agree with him in the desire that the load-line should be fixed by some body of experts rather than by the Board of Trade. But the proposal of my hon. Friend is that, when the shipowner has chosen his own tribunal for the fixing of the load-line, if he is dissatisfied with the decision of that tribunal he should have an appeal to another tribunal. I hope my hon. Friend will not press this Amendment. If he will withdraw it, I will undertake on Report to obviate one of the objections he has raised as to the shortness of the term before which this Bill comes into effect. I will move to substitute six months for three. That will give a longer time for the formation of any such Association as is contemplated in the Bill, and will enable the shipowners on the north-west coast to form a Committee to fix a load-line for their ships.

Clause, by leave, withdrawn.

Bill reported.

As amended, to be considered upon Wednesday.

House adjourned at half after Twelve o'clock.

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