§ MR. WEIR
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether any steps have yet been taken to require the Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Company to provide lascars employed on their vessels with accommodation equivalent to that to which European crews are entitled—namely, 72 cubic feet of space†Reference may be made to The Parliamentary Debates, First Series, Vol. vi., page 902. In 1806, Mr. Serjeant Rest had obtained leave to bring in a Bill "to prevent the publication of ex parte evidence against persons accused of felonies and other crimes previous to trial." He explains the grounds on which he considered such a measure necessary, and his reasons for deciding, against his personal judgment, not to proceed with the Bill.—[Ed.]1563 per man; and, in view of a statement made by the late President of the Board of Trade, can it be stated whether any action has yet been taken against the company by way of a test case to show whether or not the company has committed an infringement of the Merchant Shipping Act in providing lascars with less space than above indicated; and, if not, will he say when action will be taken.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
said that the matter to which the hon. Member referred had not been lost sight of. The Peninsular and Oriental Company have taken steps by a petition of right, which has been fiated, to obtain an authoritative legal decision on the points that have arisen with regard to lascar crew space. An answer to this petition has been prepared by counsel, but I am not able to say definitely when the case will come on for hearing.