§ Mr. O'GRADY
asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been called to the Report of the Consul-General for Antwerp with reference to the engagement and discharge of British crews at that port in 1809; if he is aware that of 16,258 seamen engaged only 3,523 were British subjects, that of 4,729 sailors engaged only 282 were British subjects, and of 4,868 firemen engaged only 133 were British subjects; and whether, owing to this displacement of British seamen by foreigners, and the consequences to British seamen in not being able to obtain employment on British ships at Continental ports, he will cause inquiries to be made with a view to making some alteration, so that British seamen out of employment at Continental ports may have some means of obtaining employment on British ships?
§ Mr. TENNANT
My attention has been called to the Report referred to in the question. I may, however, point out that His Majesty's Consul - General in his Report attributes the small number of British seamen engaged at Antwerp to the comparatively small number of British seamen available, and not to any difficulty they experience in obtaining employment. It should be added that the proportion of British seamen engaged at Antwerp has not declined, but has risen slightly during the last few years. The proportion at this particular foreign port bears, of course, no relation to the proportion of British seamen in the merchant service as a whole.