HC Deb 18 October 1909 vol 12 c17

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the disappearance at sea on 7th May, 1909, of an Asiatic fireman named Abdool Rajack whilst serving on the steamer "Baron Fairlie," of Ardrossan; whether any inquiry has been held into the matter; whether the seaman was medically examined before joining; how long he had served on the vessel; whether he had any previous sea service; whether he was on duty at the time; what was the temperature of the engine-room and stokehold; how many tons of coal the engine-room hands were required to work each 24 hours; and whether any previous cases of suicide, supposed suicide, or disappearance have occurred on this vessel?


The Asiatic fireman referred to in the question disappeared at sea on the voyage from Pamban to Saigon. Inquiry was held by the Vice-Consul at Saigon. It is understood that the whole crew were medically examined before joining. The man had been 24 days on board the "Baron Fairlie," and had had previous sea service. He was on duty at the time of his disappearance. The temperature of the engine-room was 106 degrees, and of the stokehold 108 degrees. The coal consumption was 22 tons per day, and the number of firemen and trimmers was 14. One other case of disappearance has occurred in this vessel during the last three years. The "Baron Fairlie" is now in the East.

Mr. J. D. REES

Are these inquiries always held as a matter of course by the Board of Trade in cases such as these, and is the information on which the questions are based obtained from the return published by the Board of Trade?


These inquiries are made by different authorities in different parts of the world; they are communicated to us.


On these returns being communicated to you was any complaint made by or on behalf of these Asiatic seamen, or of any other Asiatic seamen on our ships, of the conduct of the owners or the management of the vessel?


There was no complaint.