§ MR. JARVIS (Lynn Regis)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been drawnt to the prosecution of William Laine, captain of a Foreign ship named the Laineter (as reported in the Shipping Gazette of 17th February), who was charged at King's Lynn with breaking the Merchant Shipping Act by carrying a deck cargo of 32,000 cubic feet of pitch pine, which would weigh about 32 tons; and why the Board of Trade was content with so small a penalty as £5 and costs for the infringement of English Law when he was liable to a penalty of £5 per ton, and it is probable that a much larger sum had been made by breaking the law?
§ SIR M. HICKS BEACH
My attention has been called to the newspaper report to which the hon. Member refers with regard to the prosecution of the captain of the Laineter. It is in more than one respect inaccurate. The deck cargo consisted of 3,200 (not 32,000) cubic feet, and the maximum penalty under the Act is £100. The representative of the Board of Trade did not press for a heavier penalty than £5, because it was the first offence of the kind for which the master had been summoned. He was prosecuted summarily, and the magistrates in their discretion imposed that penalty and costs.