§ MR. NANNETTI
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that Messrs. Houlder Brothers, shipowners, and owners of the s.s. "Southern Cross," have employed a man named Bethel at Antwerp to engage and supply thirty-five sailors and firemen for the steamer "Southero Cross," which is at' present lying in the port of the Tyne; and, if so, whether he can state the nationality of those seamen, if they are able to speak the English language, and the wages these men are to receive per month, and whether, in view of the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act with regard to the engagement and supply of crews 1246 to British ships by persons not licensed by the Board of Trade, he intends to take any action in the matter; and whether he is aware that there is a large number of sailors and firemen unemployed at the Tyne ports.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR, Leeds, Central)
I am having inquiry made into the matter to which the hon. Member refers, but I am not yet in posses din of information which would enable me to reply on the various points raised in the Question. If the hon. Member will repeat his Question in a few days I shall be happy to answer it.