MR. J. HAVELOCK WILSON
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, whether he can state the number of shipowners and shipping companies who are at present employing Lascar or Asiatic seamen; whether he can state the names of those owners or companies who are complying with that section of the Merchant Shipping Act which provides that all seamen shall have 72 cubic feet of space; whether he can also state the names of owners or companies who are not complying with this section of the Act; whether notices have been served on owners or companies who have failed to comply with the section of the Act referred to; and whether it is his intention to take any action, with a view to enforcing the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act?
§ MR. BRYCE
As I informed the hon. Member, on the 9th April, there is some conflict between the requirements of the Imperial and Indian Acts bearing on the subject to which he refers. Every effort will be made to remove this conflict, and mean while it will be made known as widely as possible that the provisions of the Imperial Act must be complied with; and the Board of Trade Surveyors in this country are giving special attention 1047 to the matter. I am not prepared to state the number of owners at present employing Lascar seamen. Nor do I think it necessary to publish the names of those owners who have been complying with the Indian rather than with the Imperial law, especially as I am informed that they have shown every willingness to amend their practice upon its illegality being explained to them.
§ MR. BRYCE
I have already stated that we conceive that as regards this point the provisions of the Imperial Act apply.
Then I should like to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman intends to enforce the Imperial Act on English ships in English ports, by compelling them to provide 72 cubic feet?