HC Deb 12 November 1908 vol 196 c536

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will state for what reasons the Board of Trade have postponed the application to foreign vessels within British ports of the provisions of The Merchant Shipping Act, 1906, relating to load-line, defective equipment, the stowage of grain cargoes, and life saving appliances.


The Act of 1906 provides that the British rules as to load-line and life-saving appliances are to be applied to foreign ships in our ports on some date during 1909, to be prescribed, the intention being to allow as long a time as is reasonably required to enable foreign Governments to make any necessary alterations in their rules. Voluntary action on the part of foreign Governments is in every way preferable to the bare enforcement of our standard in United Kingdom ports. The negotiations with foreign Governments are progressing very favourably, and the date selected, 1st October next, will, I hope, admit of this voluntary action being completed in the case of the principal maritime Powers.