HC Deb 08 April 1895 vol 32 cc1136-7

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to a report of a trial in the Central District Court at Newfoundland, where Thomas Weatherill and William Prentice, of the vessel Elite, sued Captain Hargreaves for supplying them with food which was considerably under the weight agreed upon in their articles of agreement; whether it is a fact that the menalleged that the balance which was used for weighing the food was defective; and whether there is any law to compel owners to supply their vessels with weights and measures which are thoroughly adjusted and certified to be correct; and, if there is no such law, will he at an early date bring in a Bill making it compulsory on all shipowners to supply their vessels with properly adjusted weights and measures?


My attention had not been called to the case referred to in the question until I received a communication, dated the 3rd inst., from the hon. Member himself. I have, however, been in communication with the managing owner of the Elite. He appears to have no knowledge of the circumstances, and states that the finding of the ship in provisions rests with the master, who is also half-owner. The Merchant Shipping Act, 1894 (Section 201), provides that proper weights and measures shall be kept on board ship, and the master is liable to a fine (£10) if he neglects to comply with this requirement. I have given directions for the weights and measures of the Elite to be inspected upon the next return of the vessel to this country.