HC Deb 01 May 1906 vol 156 cc386-7

To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that for the past two weeks the sailors and firemen at the ports of Hamburg and Bremen, in Germany, have been on strike to obtain an advance of wages; whether he is aware that German shipping agents have employed unlicensed persons in England to supply and engage seamen; whether the Board of Trade will take steps to prevent such unlicensed persons from engaging and supplying seamen, as provided for by Sections 110 and 111 and following sub-sections of the Merchant Shipping Act; and whether he is aware that it has already been decided in the English Courts of Law that it is an offence under the Merchant Shipping Act to engage and supply seamen for foreign ships in ports of the United Kingdom.

(Answered by Mr. Lloyd-George.) I am aware of the strike to which the hon. Member refers, and I am making inquiries as to the circumstances under which seamen are being engaged in this country to take the place of strikers on some German ships. Perhaps the hon. Member will send me particulars of any cases of illegality that come to his notice. I am also aware of the legal decision to which reference is made in the Question, and shall not hesitate to take any steps that may be found necessary in order to enforce the law.