HC Deb 20 February 1890 vol 341 cc746-7
COMMANDER BETHELL (York, E. R., Holderness)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether the various descriptions of boats sanctioned by the Committee of the Board of Trade, under the Merchant Shipping (Life Saving Appliances) Act of 1888, have been submitted to any practical test; and, whether the rules made by the Board of Trade, as to the number of persons which may be carried by these boats, are founded upon any such test?


Before my right hon. Friend answers this question, I should like to ask him if it is true that the enforcement of the rules under the Saving life at Sea Act, 1888, have been postponed by the Board of Trade until June, and if it is well understood that they will not be longer delayed?


It is true that the rules in question have been delayed in order to refer a point raised to the Committee. I hope it may not be necessary to further postpone them, and as far as it depends upon me it shall not be done. In reply to the question of my hon. and gallant Friend, I have to say that in one case only has it been found necessary to submit to a practical test the various de- scriptions of boats referred to in the rules founded upon the Report of the Life Saving Appliances Committee, as in the other cases no new principle or method of construction was involved. The rules made by the Board of Trade upon the Report of the Committee as to the numbers of persons which may be carried by these boats have not been founded upon any such tests, but are founded on the advice of the Committee, who are practically acquainted with the subject.