HC Deb 24 July 1893 vol 15 cc302-3
SIR J. LENG (Dundee)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that upwards of two years ago a representation was made to the Marine Department of the Board, on behalf of the shipmasters and officers of the British Merchant Service, pointing out that the compulsory examinations for certificates might be improved, without endangering the advancement of competent seamen already in the Service, and offering several practical suggestions for testing the intelligence of the candidates, and more particularly that the degree of accuracy in the calculations for determining a ship's position would be better secured by giving a pass for a high percentage of accuracy than by merely tolling a, candidate which of his calculations was wrong and giving a chance to correct them, and that candidates should understand the construction and use of the barometer, thermometer, and hydrometer; and whether effect has been given to these suggestions; if not, whether the Board of Trade will endeavour to give a more practical character to the compulsory examinations of the navigating officers in the Merchant Service?


Representations to the effect stated by the hon. Member were made to the Board of Trade in 1891 by the Shipmasters and Officers' Federation; but, after careful consideration of various representations made to them on the subject, the Department did not feel justified in taking action in the matter. The Regulations relating to the examinations of masters and mates are now under revision, and the suggestions for improving such examinations will be considered.