§ MR. SUMMERBELL (Sunderland)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, in view of the statement made to the House on 4th April, 1906, to the effect that negotiations were proceeding with Germany with a view to an arrangement being arrived at under which each country would accept load-lines assigned by the other, if he is in a position to state the result of such negotiations; whether such negotiations had anything to do with the altering of the load-line; and whether the men engaged in the mercantile marine were at all consulted in the matter.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. CHURCHILL,) Dundee
The negotiations with Germany as to the freeboard regulations of each country being treated as equally effective as their own by the other are almost concluded, and I have every hope that the result will be satisfactory to both countries. These negotiations were not entered into until after the revision of the British Load-Line Tables had been completed. This revision was the outcome of representations and conferences which had been in progress since 1899 between the Board of Trade and the other assigning bodies; and in the course of that revision the German Regulations of 1903 were duly considered. As the matter was one purely for technical experts it was not considered necessary to consult representatives of officers and seamen with regard to it.