HC Deb 16 December 1912 vol 45 cc1096-7
66. Mr. PETO

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can furnish detailed information as to the case of the ss. "Durham," which vessel left the Soroka, in the White Sea, on 20th October last with a heavy deck-load and arrived recently in the United Kingdom, having carried away her deck-load and sustained considerable structural damage as a result, and is now undergoing repairs at Barry Docks; whether he will take steps to have all cases of structural damage to vessels and injury to officers or crew due to deck-loads reported to the Board of Trade in future; and whether he will issue a tabulated Return of the cases reported in 1913?


The "Durham" left Soroka, White. Sea, on 21st October, and arrived at London on 2nd November, where she discharged her cargo of deals, battens, and boards. I am informed that the vessel met with heavy weather on the voyage and parts of her deck cargo were carried away. The starboard rigging shroud was broken and the foremast was sprung and buckled. The bridge, deck, and chart-house rails and stanchions were damaged, and also some of the hatches. Two of the hold ventilators were broken and sundry deck fittings damaged. Reports of casualties to ships registered in the United Kingdom are already received by the Board of Trade, and I am arranging for the reports of casualties due to the loss of deck-loads to be specially tabulated for the year 1913.


Will the tables to which the hon. Gentleman refers include a report of vessels whose superstructure has been damaged because of deck cargo, even without loss of life?


I will see whether those figures can be obtained.


Is it not possible to prohibit deck cargoes altogether?


That matter is under consideration, but I cannot promise.


If deck loads are prohibited on English ships would it not be another handicap in competition with foreign nations?