MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the constant breaches of the Merchant Shipping Act in the ports of Shields and Sunderland by boarding masters, and particularly by one boarding master named Charles Nielson, of South Shields; whether he is aware that Nielson conveyed ten foreigners from South Shields to Sunderland, placed them on board a tug, subsequently transporting them to the ss. Burlington, in the Sunderland Roads, and that the deputy shipping master signed such men, well knowing that they were supplied in contravention of the 147th section of the Merchant 1117 Shipping Act, which provides that it shall be unlawful for any person other than the owner, or master, or mate of the ship, or some person who is a bond fide servant, to supply seamen under such circumstances; and whether the President of the Board of Trade will enforce the above section of the Act by taking proceedings against the boarding master for supplying men as aforesaid and also against the deputy shipping master for signing on men so supplied?
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Sir M. HICKS BEACH,) Bristol, W.
The Seamen's and Firemen's Union have drawn my attention to the case of the ss. Burlington. I have received a report from the Superintendent of Mercantile Marine at Sunderland, from which it appears that the master of the ship made all the necessary arrangements with the office of the Shipping Federation for obtaining the crew, and that it was at his request that the crew signed on board the vessel. In these circumstances, I do not at present think it is a case for a prosecution; but before deciding, I have directed further inquiries to be made as to the position and action of Nielson in the matter.