HC Deb 21 April 1913 vol 52 cc24-5 P
34. Colonel YATE

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the number of masters and mates of foreign nationality employed in British registered trading vessels is increasing or decreasing; and whether he will consider the question of altering the regulations with a view to prevent aliens acquiring certificates under the British flag?


As stated in a reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland on 14th April, the number of aliens shown by the Census of seamen for 3rd April, 1911, as serving as officers on British registered trading vessels on that date was as follows:—87 masters, 310 mates, and 288 engineers out of a total of 7,995 masters, 12,578 mates, and 17,589 engineers. The corresponding figures for the Census day in 1903 were:—120 masters, 352 mates, and 352 engineers out of a total of 10,017 masters, 13,481 mates, and 16,576 engineers. From these figures it will be seen that the number of alien officers had decreased. The question of excluding aliens from holding certificates of competency has been considered on several occasions, but it has not hitherto been thought desirable or necessary to take action in this direction.

Colonel YATE

Does not the hon. Gentleman consider it a sound suggestion that the Regulations should be so changed as to prevent these alien officers from acting as pilots in time of war?


It is hardly possible to exclude the possibility. As I have P pointed out the total number is steadily decreasing.


Will the hon. Gentleman make arrangements to prevent any alien commanding an armed trading vessel?


I do not know what steps the hon. Gentleman would suggest. If he will communicate them to me I shall be glad to consider them.