HC Deb 13 August 1896 vol 44 cc733-4
*MR. A. K. LOYD (Berks, Abingdon)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the Government will give any and what compensation to the crew of the Siren for the loss of their property on the occasion of that ship being negligently run into and sunk by Her Majesty's Gunboat Landrail last month, when making for Portland Harbour?

THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. G. J. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square

The Admiralty are in communication with the Solicitors representing the owners of the Siren, and have, whilst repudiating all legal liability, offered to consider any claim that may be made to the extent of £8 a ton on the gross register tonnage of the Landrail. This compensation, which represents the maximum amount fixed by the Merchant Shipping Act, would be rateably distributed to meet all losses, whether hull, cargo, or the men's clothing. Great sympathy is naturally felt for the crew on the loss of all their clothing, but I find that, in a nearly parallel case in 1889, where the Admiralty paid £8 per register tonnage for the Surprise, it was held to be impossible, in view of the precedent which would be set, to go beyond the statutory limit of compensation.