§ Mr. HUNT
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether, in view of the fact that under the regulations of the American Government all meat for ship stores is specially exempted from inspection, he is aware that British sailors can be supplied with meat from animals diseased to any extent; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?
My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. The Board of Trade have no power to inspect at United States ports meat supplied to British ships, but seamen have under Section 198 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, the right to complain if the provisions are unsatisfactory, and an inquiry is then held. Under Section 206 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, the provisions intended for the use of the crew of any ship going from the United Kingdom through the Suez Canal or round the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn must be inspected by officers appointed by the Board of Trade. Under Section 26 of the Merchant Shipping Act of 1906 this inspection may be extended to any ship going from any port in the United Kingdom. If the inspector finds the provisions deficient in quality, the ship can be detained until the defects are remedied to his satisfaction.
§ Mr. TENNANT
I do not think the hon. Member ought to think there is no protection. The United States Government is perfectly able to protect its seamen from diseased meat.
§ Mr. TENNANT
I have already informed the hon. Member that if there is objection an inquiry can be held.