HC Deb 20 June 1895 vol 34 cc1531-3
MR. A. B. FORWOOD (Lancashire, Ormskirk)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if the Ohio steamer, of Hull, lately called Egyptian Monarch, has a Board of Trade certificate for carrying passengers, or were the Belleville boilers, with which she is fitted, with their feed pumps, constructed under the supervision of, and were approved by, the surveyors to the Board of Trade; has his attention been called to the bursting of two boiler tubes of this steamer on her first voyage, to the injury to a fireman from scalding in consequence thereof, to the leakage of the boilers and the breakdown of the feed pumps, leading to the necessity of ceasing to use two of the boilers; and will he cause an official inquiry to be made into the circumstances attending the use of the boilers of this steamer?


The steamer Ohio (lately Egyptian Monarch) does not hold a Board of Trade passenger certificate; but her boilers were constructed under the inspection of the Board's staff with a view to such a certificate. As, however, the boilers were regarded as experimental, and the Board's surveyors were not entirely satisfied with the feed pump arrangements, the declaration was withheld pending the result of a trial voyage. I am informed that during this trial one of the tubes burst, that certain other defects developed themselves, and that a fireman was slightly burnt. Further inquiries are being made into the matter with regard to which the Board of Trade are in communication with the owners, but, as at present advised, I do not think the case is one calling for formal investigation under the Merchant Shipping Act.


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, under Sections 239 and 240 of the Merchant Shipping Acts, it was not necessary that report should be made to the Board of Trade Surveyor, and an entry made in the official log; and, whether it was the fact that no such entry was made on the present occasion.


said, that he had not the Merchant Shipping Acts at hand for reference, and the question had better be put down as a separate one.

MR. W. ALLAN (Gateshead)

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that it was an impossibility that these boilers could be in an experimental stage, as they had been told lately that they had been used in the French service for some years.


thought this was rather a matter of argument than of fact.


asked if he was correct in understanding that the Board of Trade had so much doubt about these boilers that they declined to give the usual certificate before she had made her voyage.


said, he had said nothing at all about the Belleville boilers generally; but in this particular case the Board of Trade Surveyor thought that before the certificate could be given a preliminary voyage should be made to test the machinery.