§ Mr. G. H. ROBERTS
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade a question, of which I have given him private notice, namely: What precautions he proposes to take to safeguard the standard of competency of those licensed under the new Port of London Authority by-law regarding watermen and lightermen; and whether he proposes to place any limit on the number of licences issued under the by-law?
The evidence at the inquiry showed that the examinations of candidates by the Watermen's Company acting on behalf of the Authority are very carefully held and conducted, and the Report of the Committee expressly stated that there was no reason whatever for supposing that that company would not be as strict in examining the applicants under the new class as they have been in examining others. The company act in this matter as agents of the Port of London Authority, and I have accordingly communicated with the Port of London Authority on the subject and have received an assurance from them that they have no intention of sanctioning any relaxation in the standard of efficiency demanded of candidates under the present system of examination. The correspondence appears in the White Paper. As regards the last point, I have no power to limit the number of licences under the by-law.