§ Mr. O'GRADY
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether any inquiry has been held into the circumstances attending the disappearance at sea, on 15th August, 1909, of an Asiatic coal-trimmer named Ramjanallee, whilst serving on the steamer "Mahronda," of Liverpool; whether he was on duty at the time; whether he was medically examined before joining; how long he had served on the vessel; whether he had had any previous sea service; how many tons of coal the engine-room hands were required to work each twenty-four hours; what was the temperature of the engine-room and stokehold; whether any previous cases of death from suicide, supposed suicide, or disappearance have occurred on this vessel; what wages the seaman received, and the cost per month of the provisions supplied to him; and whether any compensation has been paid to the dependants; and, if not, whether he will take steps to inform them of their rights under The Workmen's Compensation Act. 1906?
Inquiries have been held in this case by the Assistant Shipping Master at Calcutta, by the Superintendent of the Mercantile Marine Office at Tilbury, and by a Board of Trade Surveyor. The seaman referred to was just going on duty when he disappeared. He had been medically examined on joining, and had served for about three months. He had had previous sea service. The coal consumption was about sixty-six tons per day, and thirty firemen and trimmers were employed. On 15th August, 1909, the temperature of the engine-room varied from 108 degrees to 116 degrees, and of the stokehold from 116 degrees to 123 degrees. Two other cases of supposed suicide have occurred on this vessel during the last three years. I have no reason to suppose that the seaman was inadequately paid or that the provisions supplied to him were insufficient. I am not aware that any compensation has been paid to his dependants. It does not fall within my province to take 188 action in the direction indicated in the last part of the question.
§ Mr. O'GRADY
In view of the fact that these seamen cannot understand the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act, will the right hon. Gentleman consider the necessity of making the men acquainted with these provisions?