§ COLONEL HILL (Bristol, S.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether it has been correctly reported that upon the occasion of a recent deputation to him respecting the Merchant Shipping Amendment Bill, 1892, an assertion was made that there 879 was no doubt in "many cases, as had been proved in many Commissions and Committees," the food supplied in certain merchant vessels was of the "worst possible description"; and whether this statement is correct; and, if so, whether he will give the dates of the many Commissions and Committees?
§ * SIR M. HICKS BEACH
I believe the assertion quoted in my hon. Friend's question was made at the deputation referred to, but, as I did not make it myself, I cannot say what Commissions and Committees were referred to. Returns on the subject of the health of the crews were presented to the House in 1876, 1879, and 1883. Since then there has been a great decrease in the number of outbreaks of scurvy, the number reported diminishing from 99 in 1881 to 13 in 1891. I am glad also to add that these outbreaks have diminished in severity as well as in number.