HC Deb 22 July 1903 vol 125 c1434

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he can state what percentage of shipmasters, officers, seamen, and engineers in the mercantile marine are able to swim; and whether, seeing that there is not any clause in the Merchant Shipping Acts requiring proficiency in swimming as a qualification for seafaring men before passing their examinations, he will consider the desirableness of enacting this qualification.

(Answered by Mr. Gerald Balfour.) There are no figures available which would enable me to answer the first part of the Question. Although I am in sympathy with the object which the hon. Member desires to secure, I do not think an alteration of the law such as he suggests would be expedient.