HC Deb 09 December 1908 vol 198 cc445-6
MR. SUMMERBELL (Sunderland)

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the notice issued by the Marine Department, and which came into operation on 1st April of this year, as to candidates for certificates of competency as master or mate, showing that they possess a knowledge of first-aid to the injured, the fees for which are not likely in any case to exceed £1 1s., is not being carried out; that the fees are about double that mentioned above, whereas at the adjoining ports of South Shields and Hartlepool the fees are 15s. and £1 1s., respectively; that such restrictions act as a hindrance to candidates taking the ambulance certificate in Sunderland; and, if so, will he state what action he intends to take, with a view to giving more favourable facilities than now exist to candidates in Sunderland.

(Answered by Mr. Churchill.) I am aware that in certain cases the fees charged at Sunderland for instruction and examination in first-aid to the injured are higher than those estimated in the notice referred to and than those charged at neighbouring ports. The Board of Trade have been in communication with the St. John's Ambulance Association on the subject, but the association state that they are unable to interfere in the financial arrangements of their local centre at Sunderland, and the Board have no power to require a revision of those arrangements. It may be pointed out that it is open to candidates to use the facilities at neighbouring ports in the cases in which the higher fees are payable at Sunderland.