HC Deb 28 May 1894 vol 24 cc1397-8
MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the report in The Standard, of the 24th instant, of the race across the Atlantic between the steamships Majestic and Paris, in which it is stated that the Paris signalled to the Majestic her intention to cross the latter's bows, which was done at no greater distance than 200 or 300 yards, that after this incident a fog suddenly obscured the horizon, and that about 2,400 persons are stated to have been on board the two steamers; and whether the Board of Trade will address the authorities of those great American lines, requesting them to forbid the practice of racing across the Atlantic to the serious risk of the lives of those on board the steamers?


Yes, Sir. My attention has been called to the newspaper reports to which the hon. Member refers, and I have made inquiry into the circumstances of the alleged racing between the steamers Majestic and Paris. I am assured that the reports in question are entirely incorrect, that the steamers were never within half a mile of each other, that the Paris did not signal her intention to cross the bows of the Majestic, but that she steadily kept her course. Having regard to the care for safety shown, as I believe, by those answerable for the management of the Atlantic liners, I do not think it necessary for the Board of Trade to further interfere with their discretion or responsibility for the proper navigation of their vessels.


Has the information just given to the House been confirmed by the captain of the Majestic, or is it only the unsupported statement of the captain of the Paris?


Yes, Sir, by both. I have a long telegram from the captain of the Majestic, which I shall be glad to show to the hon. Member.