§ MR. J. MACVEAGH
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether any record is kept of the demurrage caused to ships of heavy draft making use of the Port of Liverpool by reason of shallow waterways in the River Mersey at low tide; if so, whether he will give to the House of Commons information showing to what extent demurrage has occurred during recent years; and, if there is no such record, will it be possible to take steps for keeping such a record in future.
§ MR. CHURCHILL
The Mersey Docks and Harbour Board inform me that they have not received any complaints that ships of heavy draft have been delayed in the Port of Liverpool owing to insufficient depth of water. They think it can hardly be said that there are any shallow waterways in the River Mersey at Liverpool, inasmuch as since 1890 the Dock Board have dredged the Mersey Bar so that now there are twenty-eight to twenty-nine feet of water at low water of ordinary spring; tides, while in the anchorage ground between the Seaforth Battery to the north and Rock Ferry Pier to the south there is a depth of from forty to seventy-eight feet at low water of ordinary spring tides. In these circumstances the necessity for keeping such a record hardly appears to arise.