§ SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many passenger steamers are plying from British ports to Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Ostend, Calais, Dieppe, Cherbourg, Havre, and Bordeaux under a foreign flag and manned by foreign sailors; what steps are taken to ensure their compliance with the Merchant Shipping (Life-Saving Appliances) Act of 1888 as to the provision of easily accessible life-belts and lifesaving gear for every passenger they are licensed to carry; and by whom and how often are such life-saving appliances inspected and tested.
(Answered by Mr. Gerald Balfour.) Foreign steamers taking passengers from ports in the United Kingdom to the ports mentioned in the Question are not required by the existing law to be provided with life-saving appliances under the Merchant Shipping Act. I cannot, without considerable inquiry, state the number of such steamers.