HC Deb 27 February 1905 vol 141 cc1301-2
SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he can state the number of boys who have now been enrolled under the reduced lights dues clause of the Merchant Shipping Mercantile Marine Fund Act of 1898, and what number are expected to have been enrolled by March 31st next, the date on which the section of that Act ceases to be in force; whether he can also state what steps are contem- plated at the date at which the Act expires.

(Answered by Mr. Gerald Balfour.) Up to the 24th instant, 4,326 boys had been enrolled in the Royal Naval Reserve, under Section 6 of The Merchant Shipping (Mercantile Marine Fund) Act, 1898. If the average rate of enrolment is maintained about seventy-four additional enrolments will have taken place by March 31st next. As at present advised I do not propose to take any action on the expiration of the provisions of the section of the Act to which the right hon. Member refers.