§ * MR. JOYCE (Limerick)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he can state what was the number of collisions at sea in which British ships were engaged during the six months ending 31st December, 1900; and in how many cases of such collisions have the Board of Trade held an inquiry.
§ * THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
The number of collisions at sea in which British ships were involved and which were reported to the Board of Trade during the six months ended 31st December, 1900, was 431. The Board ordered formal inquiry in six of those cases. Three inquiries have been held. Three have been abandoned owing to the cases being taken to the Admiralty Court, and two are pending. In addition to the inquiries ordered by the Board of Trade six were held abroad either by Naval or Colonial Courts. I should like to add that the majority of the 431 cases to which I have referred were trivial, that loss of life occurred in only eighteen of them, and that in many instances the Board of Trade did not order inquiry because the cases were already before the Admiralty Court.