§ Mr. JOYCE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Bristol Corporation, acting as the pilotage authority for the port of Bristol, has committed a breach of Section 599 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, by endorsing the pilotage certificate held by the master of the passenger steamer "Barry" for the purpose of authorising him to pilot the said steamer after a change in her ownership without examining the said master, as required by the said Section; whether he will communicate with the said pilotage authority and point out that if a ship changes owners a pilotage certificate held by the master becomes invalid, and that the master must be examined again before he can be authorised to pilot the ship; and whether full consideration has now been given to this matter, with the view of having the Act of Parliament carried out?
I am not prepared to say that the Section in question requires re-examination of a master or mate holding a pilotage certificate in all cases in which the ownership of the ship or ships in respect of which it has been granted, changes. In this particular case, however, I incline to the view that the master should be re-examined, and I have so informed the pilotage authority. As my hon. Friend is aware, the whole question of pilotage is being considered by a Departmental Committee.