§ SIR J. LENG (Dundee)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he can state what number of foreign seamen and Lascars were engaged last year on board British ships; whether the number is largely increasing; whether, as alleged, from this cause many First Class Naval Reserve men cannot obtain the renewal of their retainers from inability to obtain employment at sea; and how many of such retainers have been withheld during each of the last three years?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. MUNDELLA,) Sheffield, Brightside
The statistics for 1893 are not yet available, but the latest Return shows that the number has slightly increased. I have no reason to believe that any appreciable number of First Class Reserve men have been unable to obtain the renewal of their retainers from inability to obtain employment at sea. The number who had retainers stopped was, in 1891, 17; 1892, 14; and in 1893, 18. I think it is probable that these men are in better employment ashore.