§ Mr. SUMMERBELL
asked the reason why there has been no public inquiry into the wreck of the s.s. "Republic" early this year?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Tennant)
The "Republic" sank after collision with the Italian steamer "Florida" in American waters on 23rd January last. Formal investigation was not ordered in this country, as the Board of Trade had no power to compel the attendance of witnesses from the Italian vessel, and any public inquiry that might have been held in their absence would necessarily have been of an ex parte character and possibly prejudicial to the interests of the English vessel. Actions were entered in the United States District Court, and are, I am informed, still pending. It was reported in the newspapers that the "Florida" had been arrested by a United States marshal and subsequently sold by auction.