HC Deb 26 February 1895 vol 30 cc1559-60
*SIR J. LENG (Dundee)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that oceangoing steamers now frequently carry upwards of 1,000 souls on board as passengers, crew, and attendants, he will consider the propriety of the Board obtaining statutory powers to require compliance with the recommendations of the Bulk-heads Committee, 1891, in, the building of all such vessels in the United Kingdom, so as to make them practically unsinkable?


The Statutory Committee on Life-saving Appliances advised that a reduction in the amount of such appliances should be allowed in respect of vessels which were divided into efficient watertight compartments. In consequence of the Report of this Statutory Committee the Bulk heads Committee of 1891 were appointed to advise as to what were efficient watertight compartments, and upon their valuable Report the Board of Trade have acted in granting the reduction of life-saving appliances suggested by the Statutory Committee. Neither that Committee, however, nor the Bulkheads Committee recommended—as indeed they had no power to recommend—that the provision of such compartments should be made compulsory. The question of making such provision compulsory is a very serious one, and I apprehend that much resistance would be offered to a legislative proposal to that effect.

*SIR E. HARLAND (Belfast, N.)

asked whether it was not a fact that a great many of the recently built oceangoing steamers had availed themselves voluntarily and to the full of the recommendation of the Bulkhead Committee?


A good many have certainly done so. I should hardly say what proportion, but a good many, I know, have done so.