§ MR. J. HAVELOCK WILSON (Middlesbrough)
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will state the number of continuous discharge books issued to seamen since the scheme was instituted; the number of new discharge books issued during 1906, distinguishing the number issued to men going to sea for the first time, together with their ratings; and the number of books of deserters, etc., now in the custody of the Board of Trade; 472 and the number received and returned to seamen during 1906.
(Answered by Mr. Lloyd-George.) The total number of continuous discharge books issued up to 31st March, 1907, was 418,917. The number of new discharge books, including renewals, issued during 1906 was 41,463. The number of books of deserters, etc., now in the custody of the Board of Trade is over 35,000, and the numbers received and returned during 1906 were 16,959 and 8,307 respectively. The work and cost of ascertaining the number of books issued in 1906 to men going to sea for the first time, and the ratings of those men, would be so considerable that I regret that I cannot supply the information on those points for which my hon. friend asks.