HC Deb 23 May 1898 vol 58 cc361-2
MR. M'GHEE (Louth, S.)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the brutality alleged to have been practised towards his seamen by Captain Morris, of the British barque Ancyra, on her voyage from Hong-kong to New York; whether he is aware that when the crew reached New York they were bruised, blackened, starved, and affected with scurvy, and they were calling piteously for a doctor; that during the voyage they were attacked in the most brutal manner; and that the implements used were large bamboo clubs, a bucket, an oak club, and the handle of a mop or broom; whether he is aware that Dr. J. A. O'Neill, of New York, after referring to the horrible condition of others of the crew, described seaman Edward Thompson as with his teeth ready to drop out of his gums, and with eruptions, and also as having behind his right ear a contused wound, which he said had been made with a belaying pin; whether any report has been received by him on the subject from the British Consul General at New York; if he will make full inquiry into the matter without delay; and whether any steps will be taken to bring the offenders to justice?


No official information has reached me with regard to the Ancyra, but the Consul General at New York has been asked to report the facts of the case. I may state that I have received a letter from the owners, who tell me that their agents in New York and the master, who replaced Captain Morris in command, advise them that the newspapers in New York which started and circulated these reports were not justified in doing so by the facts of the case.