HC Deb 22 March 1905 vol 143 c796
MR. MARKS (Kent, Thanet)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Board of Trade if he can state whether he has any official information showing that the increase in the number of foreigners in the British mercantile marine is due, in a large measure, to shipowners drawing up the articles of agreement between themselves and their crews in such a way as to provide that the final port of discharge shall be a port on the Continent; and that the reason for this practice is that the wages payable at Continental ports are lower than those paid at British ports; and, if so, whether he will take steps to put some check on the discharge of seamen on British ships at ports on the Continent.


The increase in the number of foreigners employed in our mercantile marine is due to a variety of causes, and I have no official information showing that the cause indicated by the hon. Member is the chief one. The Board of Trade have no power to prevent or check the practice of discharging crews at foreign ports.


May I ask whether the accommodation, or cubic space, for foreign seamen differs from that provided for British sailors?


I must ask for notice of that Question.