HC Deb 24 March 1892 vol 2 cc1656-7

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the captain of the ss. Liscard, at Buenos Ayres, on 4th January, 1892, passed 30 cwt. of potatoes and other ship's stores, as cheese, ham, &c., over the side to another steamer, thereby depriving the crew of stores put on board for their use; that, during the homeward voyage, the crew were placed on an allowance of four potatoes per week per man; if he will inquire into the allegation of some of the crew as to the alleged behaviour of the chief mate; if he will inquire as to whether it is the case that the Liscard carried no weights for weighing the food to the crew; whether he will inquire into the whole circumstances connected with the summons taken out against the captain, mate, and boatswain, on their arrival at home; and whether he will inquire into the allegation that the chief engineer was instructed by the Board of Trade to remain in London pending an inquiry into the facts, and that, after his declaration had been made, it was officially intimated to him that the case had been abandoned, no cause being alleged for the same?


All the matters referred to in the question of the hon. Member with regard to the Liscard were brought to my notice by the Sailors' and Firemen's Union, and an investigation was ordered before the London Local Marine Board into the charges of misconduct against the master and mate. It was abandoned for want of sufficient evidence to substantiate the charges. It is not customary to inform witnesses of the reason for abandoning investigations, but the Sailors' and Firemen's Union were duly informed. I have been unable at present to obtain information about the weights, but further inquiries will be made on this point. I do not propose to make any further inquiry on the other points, as seamen have their remedy at law for assault and reduced allowance of provisions.