HC Deb 08 August 1898 vol 64 cc490-1

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether the Indian Merchant Shipping Act applies only to vessels registered in India and employed in trading to and from ports in India; whether he can state the number of cubic feet of special accommodation allocated to each seaman under such Act; whether he is aware of the fact that a movement has been and now is on foot in India to increase the special accommodation allocated to Indian seamen up to the standard provided for under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894; and whether he is aware that the principal opponents of such movement are the Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Company?


The question of the exact application of the Indian Merchant Shipping Act depends upon the subject-matter, and involves points of considerable intricacy, with which I am not prepared to deal within the limits of a reply to a Question in this House. In the case of Lascars, I understand that the Indian Act requires six superficial and 36 cubic feet of space for each man. In the case of Europeans, a space of 10 superficial feet is required when the space is six feet or more high—60 cubic feet if it is less. The Board of Trade have reason to believe that proposals have been made in India to increase the space allocated to Indian seamen, but they are not aware of the nature of the opposition raised to such proposals or from what quarters it emanated.