§ MR. D. A. THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty how many vessels of the mercantile marine are likely to be detained in connection with the proposed Naval manœuvres next summer, in which the co-operation of British shipowners has been invited, and for how long; what will be the rate of compensation for detention and the total amount payable; whether compensation will be paid for indirect loss to traders generally arising from the dislocation of business caused by the detention of so many tramp steamers; and has any estimate been formed of the aggregate direct and indirect loss the trade of the country will incur during the course of the experiment.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. EDMUND ROBERTSON,) Dundee
The number of vessels likely to be detained cannot at present be predicted, as it depends entirely on the number of shipowners who are willing to co-operate in the scheme. The Admiralty aim at securing the co-operation of at least 200 vessels. It is anticipated that no vessel will be delayed for more than sixty hours, the average delay being about forty-eight hours. Compensation will be paid for all losses, direct or indirect, arising out of the agreement, with the exception that no claim for loss of charter owing to delayed arrival will be considered. It is not possible to form any accurate estimate of the aggregate loss to the trade of the country, but all claims upon the Admiralty will be covered by insurance. 1123 The papers dealing with the form of agreement between the Admiralty and the shipowners, and the Admiralty and the insurers, are now before the legal advisers of the Admiralty.