§ MR. W. HOPE (Somersetshire, N.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that at the port of Bristol it is the practice of the local pilotage authority, when collecting pilotage dues payable upon a ship's tonnage, to abstain from adding to the ship's register tonnage the tonnage of the space occupied by deck cargo; and whether he will direct such local pilotage authorities to charge pilotage dues upon the additional tonnage representing deck cargo, in pursuance of Section 85 of The Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, in order that the pilots, on whose behalf such dues are collected, may receive an additional payment in respect of ships with deck cargoes, as directed by the said section.
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Lloyd-George, Carnarvon Boroughs)
I am informed by the Corporation of Bristol, which is the pilotage authority there, that their practice is as described in the first part of the Question. The Board of Trade have no power to issue directions to a pilotage authority as suggested by my hon. friend, but I will communicate with the Bristol 48 Corporation calling attention to the provisions of Section 85 of The Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, as affecting pilotage rates. It is, of course, open to any person interested to take action to enforce compliance with the law.