§ Mr. HOUSTON
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that the steamship "Coomassie," of British register and flying the British flag, sailed from Hamburg on or about 10th March last, in contravention of the Merchant Shipping Act, without a single officer who held a British certificate of competency on board; whether he is aware that, with the exception of four British sailors, the whole of the officers and crew were foreigners; whether he is aware that the four British sailors left the ship at an Italian port to which the steamer proceeded, and that consequently this vessel, with a British register and flying the British flag, had 605 not a single British member of the crew aboard; whether he will introduce further legislation to remedy this evil; and whether he will introduce an Act requiring that at least 75 per cent. of the officers, engineers, and crew of any British vessel shall be British subjects?
The case of the "Coomassie," to which the hon. Member refers, is engaging my serious attention; and, pending the result of inquiries I am making, I am not prepared to make any statement with regard to it. Perhaps the hon. Member would kindly repeat his question later.