§ MR. GILHOOLY
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the registered tonnage of a number of steamboats is one-fourth of their carrying power; and, seeing that tolls are only levied on the registered tonnage, will he take steps to protect the interests of the authorities who are responsible for the collection and expenditure of these tolls.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
The registered tonnage of British ships is ascertained by the application of the rules contained in the Second Schedule to the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, and there is no fixed relation between registered tonnage and carrying capacity. As I have previously stated, it is open to harbour authorities by means of local Acts to endeavour to 1358 obtain power to levy dues based on a proportion of the gross instead of the net tonnage of vessels, and several authorities have secured such power.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
Will the right hon. Gentleman support endeavours by local authorities to obtain these powers?