§ MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)
To ask the Secretary to the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the explosion which occurred on board the British steamship "Gwendoline," in the month of April, 1904, which resulted in a seaman named Alfred Davies receiving injuries which necessitated his remaining for fifty-seven days in hospital at Gibraltar and his inability to do any work since the accident; whether he is aware that Davies was landed in London destitute and sent to Dublin at the expense of the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society, and that he is now living in Dublin on the charity of friends; and whether any inquiry was held into the cause of the explosion referred to.
(Answered by Mr. Bonar Law.) The attention of the Board of Trade has been called to the case to which the hon. Member refers. No formal inquiry has been held, but it appears from a report made by the captain of the port at Gibraltar in April last, and from an entry in the official log, that the explosion was caused by the boatswain striking a match in the lazarette of a vessel laden with coal. The Board of Trade have no reason to believe that the vessel was not loaded in accordance with the regulations, but on this point further inquiry will be made upon her next return to the United Kingdom.