§ MR. E. H. BAYLEY
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he was aware, when he appointed Commander Holmes (together with Captain Wilson) to preside over the inquiry into and report upon the alleged misconduct of the crew of the Mablethorpe lifeboat, that Commander Holmes is an official of the Lifeboat Institution and Honorary Secretary to the Mablethorpe lifeboat?
§ MR. MUNDELLA
The inquiry in question was not held for the purpose of investigating the alleged misconduct of the crew of the Mablethorpe life boat, as I have no power of instituting such an investigation, but into the loss of the Olive Branch, a sailing vessel of about 180 tons. This inquiry was presided over by Captain Wilson, principal officer of the London District, and as the conduct of the crew of the lifeboat had been censured by the Coroner's Jury, I coupled with him Commander Holmes of the Royal Navy, who is Inspector of about 150 lifeboats, and who is well acquainted with their management. Commander Holmes is not the Honorary Secretary of the Mablethorpe lifeboat, as stated in my hon. Friend's question. I am assured by Captain Wilson that Commander Holmes rendered him most valuable assistance in eliciting all the facts relating to the lifeboat, and that both officers were perfectly agreed in the Report which has been made to the Board of Trade.