§ MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention, has been drawn to the report of the case of R. v. Barker and Passingham, tried; n the Crown Court at Liverpool before Mr. Justice Day last week, when evidence was given that the crew shipped at Port Townsend on board the British ship "Mary A. Troop" included a Chinese, a Finn, a railway clerk, and a commercial traveller who had never been to sea before, and when the learned Judge commented on the way in which the shipping laws are carried out in foreign ports by British Consuls; and whether he will, either directly or through the Foreign Office, impress upon such officers the necessity for a vigilant discharge of their duties in regard to the sanctioning of the engagement of crews for British ships?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE
Yes, Sir, my attention has been directed to the case referred to in the question. Her Majesty's Consuls are not expected, and indeed have no authority, to act as judges of the qualifications of seamen shipped before them.
§ MR. PICKERSGILL
May I ask whether a section of the Merchant Shipping Act does not expressly require the sanction of a Consular officer for the engagement of seamen?