HC Deb 28 February 1895 vol 31 cc26-7
Mr. J. C. MACDONA (Southwark, Rotherhithe)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, whether he can inform the House what court will inquire into the loss of the steamship Elbe; whether that court will be competent to judge of the many intricate and important technical questions that may arise in the evidence accounting for this disaster; and, whether he can state the probable date and place of the inquiry.


An inquiry into the loss of the German steamship Elbe has already been opened at Bremerhaven. The Board of Trade have ordered a formal investigation into the circumstances of the damages sustained by the British steamship Crathie. This latter inquiry will be held before a magistrate and competent nautical assessors—a court specially constituted by the Merchant Shipping Act to deal with such cases. The inquiry will be held in London, but the date cannot be determined until after the conclusion of the coroner's inquest, which now stands adjourned.

ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)

asked, whether a nautical assessor had been appointed. He had been informed that an incompetent officer, who had never commanded ship, had been given the appointment.


The name of the nautical assessor has not been submitted to me; but I am certain, from what I know of the case, that the person appointed would be a proper person.

SIR E. HARLAND (Belfast, N.)

asked, whether the right hon. Gentleman would invite the owners of the Elbe and Crathie to put in such plans as would indicate the position of the bulkheads of those, vessels, together with the doors of the bulkheads, and the exact point at which the collision took place?


did not know how far they could go into that, as it was not substantially within the jurisdiction of the Board of Trade.

In answer to a question by MR. MACDONA,


said that civil proceeding had already been begun by the owners of the Elbe.

Forward to