HC Deb 15 February 1898 vol 53 c637
MR. MACDONA (Southwark, Rotherhithe)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, whether his attention has been called to the disaster to the "Veendam" Atlantic liner, of the Netherlands American Line between Rotterdam and New York, through the ship having run upon a derelict at 17 minutes past 5 in the afternoon of the 6th instant in lat. 49 deg. 45 min., long, 20 deg. 01 min., having her bottom ripped open and her shaft smashed by the force of the collision with the submerged derelict upon which she collided, and that the whole of her crew and passengers, numbering 203 souls in all, would inevitably have been lost had not another Atlantic liner, the "St. Louis," steaming over the same route, been near at hand; and whether, inasmuch as the "Veendam" was herself a derelict left on this much frequented Atlantic route, the Board of Trade will imediately institute further inquiries as to the full extent of this present danger, and take immediate steps to lessen the risks of a recurrence of such a catastrophe?


My attention has been called by the newspapers to the disaster to the "Veendam" Atlantic liner, and to the report of her Captain, that in his opinion she struck wreckage stated to have been submerged wreckage. With regard to the danger caused to navigation by the "Veendam" I will communicate with the Admiralty, but as the "Veendam" was abandoned in mid-Atlantic seven days before any report was received in this country, I do not anticipate that any steps for her discovery and destruction are practicable.