HC Deb 15 June 1903 vol 123 cc929-30
SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield Central)

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if, with a view to the saving of life among passengers in the event of ships colliding at sea or meeting with other accidents, he will consider the advisability of requiring passenger lines to place a notice over every berth, showing to which boat station the occupant should repair in the event of collision, fire, or mishap requiring taking to the boats.

(Answered by Mr. Bonar Law.) I appreciate the motives of my hon. and gallant friend, but I fear the adoption of his suggestion is impracticable. In the opinion of the Board of Trade, any attempt to allot boat stations to passengers by previous notice would, in the event of disaster, be not only useless but dangerous. The first duty of the captain in case of serious accident is to save the women and children; and the responsibility of doing the best for all is one that can only be safely left to him.