Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment proposed to Question [27th February],—
'That a Select Committee be appointed to consider the objections which have been raised
to adoption by Order in Council of Rule 15 of the revised International Regulations for preventing collisions at sea, dealing with sound signals in fog, as suggested by the Washington Conference, and considered by the Maritime Powers."—(Sir Donald Currie.)
And which Amendment was, to leave out from the word "raised," in line 2, to the end of the Question, in order to add the words—
Order in Council of the 30th day of January, 1893, relative to the fixing and screening of ships' side-lights, and to adoption by Order in Council of the sound signals prescribed by Article 15 and Article 28 of the Revised Regulations for preventing Collisions at Sea, as set forth in the Board of Trade Circular to Shipowners on 6th of March, 1894."—(Mr. T. Gibson Bowles.)
§ Question again proposed,—"That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ Debate resumed.
§ MR. T. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
appealed to the President of the Board of Trade to withdraw his block and refrain from objection to the amendment, or else to provide some opportunity when the Resolution and the Amendment might be discussed and divided upon, and not to leave them in their present position to be kicked across the Table of the House in the time for unopposed business.
§ SIR DONALD CURRIE (Perthshire, W.)
said, the shipowners were satisfied with the Committee on fog signals, which had been promised by the Government, and he asked leave to inquire of the President of the Board of Trade what progress he had made with the formation of the Committee which he promised to a deputation, on the screening of ships' side lights.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. BRYCE,) Aberdeen, S.
said he had now succeeded in forming a Committee in fulfilment of the pledge he gave to the deputation. The Committee would consist of one eminent shipbuilder, in the hon. Baronet the Member for Belfast (Sir E. Harland), three eminent shipowners, including Mr. Ismay, of the White Star Line, and the hon. Member for Southampton (Sir F. Evans), three shipmasters, an eminent Admiralty lawyer, and two Naval Officers, whom he 1023 had selected in consultation with the First Lord of the Admiralty. This was an impartial Committee, consisting of men who would be fully masters of the subject. He had thought it better not to put on any representative of the Board of Trade. The Committee would be ready to sit shortly, and he trusted that in these circumstances the hon. Member opposite would do nothing further to retard the settlement of the question. Personally he had carried out the pledge that he gave to the deputation representing the shipping interest that they should have a technical committee to examine into the side lights question; and he had also carried out, as far as he could, the pledge which he gave to the hon. Member for West Perthshire (Sir Donald Currie.)
§ MR. A. J. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside)
said, he had taken an interest in this question, and knew that the feeling of shipowners and of the Chamber of Shipping was that the matter should go forward in the manner proposed. He therefore implored the hon. Member for Lynn Regis not to continue his opposition to the course taken by the President of the Board of Trade, because the appointment of a Committee was the only means by which they could bring about an amicable solution of the question.
§ MR. T. GIBSON BOWLES
said, this was not exclusively a shipowners' question, and he disputed the assertion that the shipping interest and, above all, that seamen were in favour of his abandoning the Amendment, which he declined to withdraw.
§ SIR DONALD CURRIE
said, he was perfectly satisfied with the response of the President of the Board of Trade, and he hoped the hon. Member would not persist in his opposition.