HC Deb 04 August 1905 vol 151 cc248-9

To ask the Secretary to the Board of Trade whether he is aware that a seaman, named Burton, was killed on the steamship "Glendale" (Weardale Steamship Company, Limited) on the 18th February, 1905, having fallen down the hold of that vessel in consequence of the fore and afters of the hatch being defective, and that the owners of the "Glendale" have not paid any compensation to the widow; whether he can state if it is the intention of His Majesty's Government to introduce a Bill, this session, with a view to providing for the payment of compensation for sailors and firemen who meet with accidents on board British ships; and whether he can state if any inquiry was held into the cause of Burton's death, and when such inquiry, if any, was held.

(Answered by Mr. Bonar Law.) Yes, Sir. The Board of Trade are aware of the circumstances of the case to which the hon. Member refers. They have communicated with the owners of the "Glendale," but have not yet received a reply. Inquiries were made in February and March last by the Board's officers at Borrowstouness, with the result that, though, some of the hatches were stated to have been defective, it is not clear that the accident was due to their condition, but that it was rather the result of carelessness. His Majesty's Government are not prepared to propose any legislation on the subject of seamen's compensation this session.