§ MR. J. HAVELOCK WILSON (Middlesbrough)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that on 11th December, 1897, the crew of the steamship Queen Margaret were discharged at the port of Bremerhaven, and that those seamen applied to the captain and consul to have their expenses of conveyance from Bremerhaven to London, the port at which they were engaged, defrayed by the captain, in accordance with Section 186 of the 1232 Merchant Shipping Act; whether he is aware that Her Majesty's consul refused to sanction the payment of Edward Carlsen's passage and maintenance, on the ground that he was a foreigner; and whether he can state if there is any provision in the Merchant Shipping Act which provides that a seaman who may be a foreigner is not entitled to the same privileges and rights as a British seaman who serves under articles on a British vessel?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE
My attention was called to the case of the Queen Margaret, also to the cases referred to in the succeeding Questions of the hon. Member, and inquiries are being made. Until I am in possession of full particulars I cannot make any further statement in the matter.
The following were the other Questions standing in the name of the hon. Member:—
"Mr. HAVELOCK WILSON,—To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the charges preferred against E. J. Nicholas, chief officer, and E. J. Tritz, master, of the sailing ship Troope for assaults on several seamen engaged on that vessel on a voyage from Tokoma to Swansea; whether he has read the reports of the proceedings before the stipendiary magistrate at Swansea; whether he is aware that several men who signed on as able seamen before Her Majesty's consul at Tokoma were men who had never served any period at sea in the capacity of seamen; and whether he intends holding an inquiry into the conduct of the captain of this vessel?"
"Mr. HAVELOCK WILSON,—To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the case tried at Swansea Police Court before the stipendiary magistrate on Thursday, 24th March, when three seamen sued the captain of the sailing ship Troope for wages due; whether he is aware that when the seamen were engaged on this vessel at Tokoma the captain paid over to certain boardinghouse keepers three months' advances of wages; whether he is aware that, after hearing the evidence, the stipendiary 1233 magistrate held that Section 140 of the Merchant Shipping Act provides that it is only legal to give one month's wages in advance; and whether, in view of this decision, he will issue instructions to consular officers abroad that in future they must only sanction the payment of one month's advance, of wages to seamen signing on British ships?"
"Mr. HAVELOCK WILSON,—To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the assaults committed by the captain and chief officer of the sailing ship Troope upon three of the crew; whether he is aware that the chief officer was fined £5, including costs; and that the captain was fined £2 and costs for kicking one of the seamen; whether he intends to hold any further inquiry into the matter, with a view of dealing with the certificates of officers belonging to this ship; and whether he is aware that the captain of this vessel signed on men as sailors who had not had any previous experience as seamen; and that one of the men was taken on board the ship wit out signing articles?"