HC Deb 05 February 1913 vol 47 cc2352-61

(1) The Board of Trade may, by Order made under this Act (in this Act referred to as a Pilotage Order)—

  1. (a) make such rearrangement of pilotage districts and pilotage authorities as they think necessary or expedient; and
  2. (b) establish new pilotage districts and new pilotage authorities and abolish existing pilotage districts and existing pilotage authorities in cases where it appears to the Board necessary or expedient; and
  3. (c) define the limits of pilotage districts, distinguishing as respects any pilotage district in part of which pilotage is compulsory and in part of which pilotage is not compulsory, the part of the district in which pilotage is compulsory; and
  4. (d) provide for the incorporation of any pilotage authority, and make such alteration in the constitution of any pilotage authority with reference to their powers and duties as pilotage authority, and such provisions as to the appointment of committees (including, if it is thought fit, persons not members of the authority), and as to the relations between the authority and the committee, as the Board think necessary or expedient; and
  5. (e) empower a pilotage authority to delegate to a committee thereof any of its powers and duties, and provide if it seems necessary or desirable that the decisions of the committee on questions so delegated shall not require confirmation by the pilotage authority; and
  6. (f) make such provision for the direct representation of pilots and shipowners on any pilotage authority or committee of a pilotage authority as the Board think necessary or expedient; and
  7. (g) in cases where a pilotage authority have powers and duties as to other matters as well as pilotage, provide for their accounts as pilotage 2353 authority being kept separate from their accounts in relation to other matters; and
  8. (h) provide that pilotage shall be compulsory in any area where it has previously not been compulsory; and
  9. (i) authorise, where it appears expedient, any pilotage authority to make byelaws providing for the grant of certificates (in this Act referred to as deep sea certificates) certifying that persons are qualified to act as pilots of ships for any part of the sea or channels outside the district of any pilotage authority, so, however, that a pilot holding such a certificate shall not be entitled to supersede any other person as pilot of a ship; and
  10. (j) provide that any Act (other than this Act), order, charter, custom, byelaw, regulation, or provision shall, so far as it relates to pilotage, cease to have effect within any pilotage district or as respects any pilotage authority, but may reenact the whole or any part thereof so far as is not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act; and
  11. (k) provide for compensation being paid to any pilots for any loss or damage which may be incurred by them in consequence of any order abolishing or rearranging any pilotage districts; and
  12. (l) make any provisions which appear necessary or expedient for the purpose of giving full effect to the Order.

(2) Provision shall be made by Pilotage Order for the direct representation of pilots either on the pilotage authority or on the committee of the pilotage authority of any district where there are not less than six licensed pilots if a majority of the pilots licensed for the district signify in writing to the Board of Trade that they desire such representation, and, where such provision is made, provision shall also be made for the direct representation of shipowners on the authority or committee, as the case may be.

(3) A Pilotage Order shall not be made by the Board of Trade except for any of the purposes of Part I. of this Act or on the application in writing of any person interested in the pilotage of any pilotage district or in the operation of the laws relating to pilotage in that district or the administration of those laws.

(4) A Pilotage Order shall require con firmation by Parliament—

  1. (a) if it is an Order made for the purpose of carrying into effect any scheme under Part I. of this Act submitted to them by the pilotage authority, or recommended by the Commissioners for the purpose of the reorganisation or improvement of organisation of pilotage at any port; and
  2. (b) if, whatever the purpose for which it is made, a petition is presented to the Board of Trade against the Order by any person appearing to the Board of Trade to be interested in the administration of pilotage in the district within six weeks after the Order is published and the petition is not withdrawn.

(5) A Pilotage Order which does not require confirmation by Parliament shall have effect as if enacted in this Act.

(6) The provisions contained in the First Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to Pilotage Orders.


I beg to move in Sub-section (1) paragraph (h) after the word "compulsory" ["where it has previously not been compulsory"], to insert the words," or provide that pilotage shall not be compulsory in any area where it has been compulsory."

I am anxious to get restored to this part of the Clause words which were originally in it when the Bill went into Committee. The object of the Clause was to give power to the Board of Trade, in certain circumstances, to hold inquiries as to whether the Act of Parliament, which applies generally to the various parts, is working satisfactorily. In leaving out the words I propose to put in, half the object of the original Clause was lost. If it is desirable to make pilotage compulsory in areas where it has not been compulsory, it ought to be equally possible to turn compulsory areas into non-compulsory areas. The Port of Bristol became a compulsory area as far back as 1807. In 1861 an amending Act was passed which excluded from the compulsory area East of Lundy the ports of Cardiff, Newport and Gloucester. In 1891 the Bristol compulsory area was still further restricted.

It is a remarkable fact that in the compulsory waters of Bristol, Gloucester steamers can go up and pass through our waters, which are compulsory to Bristol, while Bristol ships have to lie up or wait to pick up pilots. So far as Bristol ships are concerned, that area of the Bristol Channel is not always a convenient place to take pilots on board ships Bristol bound by reason of currents and inclemency of the weather. Two ships may be coming up upon the same tide, one to Sharpness and the other to the old Port of Bristol. One can proceed through the compulsory area to Bristol Old Port while the other might not be able to get a pilot for the reasons I have stated, and the Bristol bound steamer runs a considerable risk with the underwriters in consequence of going into compulsory waters without taking a pilot. I should be the last person in the world to wish to do anything to injure the Bristol pilots. I have the highest respect for them, but at the same time we cannot allow an authority with £6,000,000 of capital to be stereotyped into a worse position than that enjoyed by Gloucester, Cardiff, Newport or Sharpness. In the next place if in the wisdom of this House they were to agree to the addition of this Clause and the Board of Trade after due inquiry were to relieve the Port of Bristol from being a compulsory port within the area of which I have spoken, there is power in the same Clause to give compensation to the pilots for any variations of their present pilotage privileges and it is only fair that the words which I propose should be agreed to so that there should be elasticity given to the Board of Trade to deal with this question.

Colonel GIBBS

In supporting the Amendment I would point out that, contrary to what my hon. Friend near me said, the Committee, instead of being agreed upon this matter, cut out the words which it is now proposed to insert. As has been said very properly, it is obviously absurd that we in Bristol should stultify ourselves by allowing the Sub-section to remain as it is. The two ports of Bristol are the only ports in the Bristol Channel where pilotage is compulsory. We are willing to leave matters as they are at the present time, but we are certainly not willing to allow this Sub-section to go into the Bill.


I desire to oppose the insertion of these words. When this matter came before the Standing Committee there was a long and exhaustive debate, and all sides were heard. The Committee came to the conclusion it would be wise that these words should not remain in the Bill. I was anxious to hear the hon. Member who proposed the Amendment give some good and sufficient reason for it. All I could gather from what he said was that he was anxious not to hurt the pilots in any way. I judge a man not by his words but by his deeds, and I say that if this Amendment were carried, he would do all that he possibly could to injure the interests of the pilots. How do the pilots stand in this matter? In the first portion of the Debate I heard some extraordinary statements made with regard to the pilots by an hon. Member opposite, and also by another on this side—statements which I could with truth contradict flatly. I think I know something about this subject. In dealing with the question of compulsory pilotage has it entered the head of the hon. Member who so lightly proposes to sweep away the Bristol pilots to consider what is the position occupied by the pilots of this country? Has it entered into his head that if you wish to keep an efficient service of pilotage in this country, you should make the men understand that their interests are safeguarded by the State.

It is most important to have efficient men to perform the arduous duties of the ser vice in a proper and systematic manner. I do not think anyone will contradict me when I say that their duties are arduous. I am not going back on what I said on the Second Reading of the Bill as to the importance of the pilotage service as a national asset, but I do not think hon. Members ought to forget that the pilots in other countries are servants of the State. They are looked after and protected by the State, and they must abide by the rules and regulations applied to them by the State. But in this country the rules and regulations are enforced against pilots as strictly as in other countries, but the pilots are not the servants of the State in the same sense as in other countries. It is a shame for any Government to be in power and not to safeguard the pilots. They should not be at the whim of the shipowner—


The hon. Member is dealing with the matter rather too broadly. This is a limited Amendment.


With great respect I think that every word which I have said is pertinent to this Amendment. I know the subject with which I am dealing, and must deal with it in this way in order to show that this Amendment would work badly for the pilots and may not work very well for the interests which the hon. Member is supposed to represent. In the interests of an efficient service of pilots you want what the Grand Committee decided on having carried out in the Bill, and we ask for no more. I am quite willing to leave it to this House to decide between the pilots and the hon. Member who has proposed the Amendment and I ask the Government not to interfere as between us and to let it be a fair, straight vote and I will abide by the consequences. Owing to the position created by this Bill various pilotage services in the country where great changes are about being made have been hung up. The pilots in conjunction with their authorities have been expending a great deal of money in order to provide a steam service where the old cutter service existed, and these things cannot be carried out until this Bill becomes law. If a blow such as this Amendment would deal is dealt at the pilots then you will do a disservice to the pilotage and to the mercantile marine of this country.


This Amendment proposes to put back in the Bill a provision that was originally there. We defended that provision, but the hon. Member for Limerick was able to defeat us upstairs by two to one. Being defeated in this way, the Government have no wish to set themselves against such a clearly expressed opinion of the Committee upstairs. On the other hand, as this provision was our own provision, we are not going to declare ourselves against the Amendment of the hon. Member (Sir W. H. Davies) because we considered that if there was to be a power one way, it is only right that there should be a power the other way. The plain fact is that it is not a matter of such very great importance. We actually have at present under the Merchant Shipping Act power by Provisional Order compulsorily to change a district. So far as I know, we have never used the power, and though it was proposed to be inserted as a matter of logical symmetry and of conceivable necessity in some cases, we do not regard it as a matter of vital importance, but are willing to meet the wish of the hon. Member for Limerick by leaving it to the House.


Will the House allow me to call attention to the point that if the Clause is put into the Bill it will be impossible to readjust the bounds to the smallest extent in the way of reducing the amount of compulsory pilotage? If you are going to have an inquiry the Commission ought to have the power of recommending a larger or smaller area of compulsory pilotage, just as they think suitable. Under this Bill the Order enlarging or reducing the compulsory area would have to be confirmed by the House, for it could not possibly pass into law if it was objected to by any person.


Under the provisions of this Bill, the first part of it directs or enables certain inquiries to be made under the Pilotage Acts; then this Clause enables the Board of Trade to make a Pilotage Order. As the rule was originally framed the Pilotage Order was in the direction of either enlarging an area, or converting a non-compulsory area into a compulsory area, or in converting a compulsory into a non-compulsory area. That is a very desirable power for the Board of Trade to possess, because in the instance of Bristol you have one comparatively small part of a big area which stands alone as a compulsory area, and which, I think, when an inquiry has been held, might properly be converted into a non-compulsory area. The manager of one of the important lines of steamers using Avonmouth told me only a few days ago that he had had a great deal of difficulty with the pilots who, in piloting his ships into Avonmouth docks, on three occasions hit the pier head. They were pilots accustomed to handling small ships, and they had no idea how to manage big ships. This is a perfectly proper subject for inquiry by the Board of Trade, and I certainly think that they should possess the power, which the Bill in its original form gave them, of converting this one small fraction of a large area, over a long period of years a compulsory portion, into a non-compulsory area.


There have been only four speeches in favour of this Amendment and one against it, but really there are four times as many arguments against the Amendment as there are for it. This Bill is supposed to be founded on the Report of the Departmental Committee on Pilotage, which reported eighteen months ago. That Report was unanimously in favour of compulsory pilotage all over the Kingdom, and compulsory pilotage is the rule for all ports in other countries, especially France.

We ought not to fly against the example of other countries, and go against the Report of the Departmental Committee. I am entitled to speak for Bristol too as I represent two of the most important wards and all the pilots of Bristol are within my Constituency. They are very impartial men, but I am sorry to say they do not all vote for me. They have instructed me with a wealth of language and illustration which I will not reproduce, that I must oppose this Amendment and ask the House to do the same.


There is one fact the House ought to bear in mind and that

is when this provision was originally in the Bill and before it was taken out there was a provision giving to the pilots whose area was made non-compulsory, compensation if they suffered by the change. When the Clause was taken out that Compensation Clause was taken out and if the Clause is put back now the Compensation Clause should go back too.


If the House agree to the Amendment of my hon. Friend, I propose to add those words as to compensation.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 51; Noes, 137.

Division No. 577.] AYES. [12.5 a.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Hayward, Evan Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Holt, Richard Durning Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Howard, Hon. Geoffrey W. A. Sanders, Robert Arthur
Brocklehurst, William B. Lyell, Charles Henry Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Shortt, Edward
Butcher, J. G. Manfield, Harry Sutherland, John E.
Cory, Sir Clifford John Marshall, Arthur Harold Talbot, Lord Edmund
Dalrymple, Viscount Middlebrook, William Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Munro, Robert Tennant, Harold John
Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C. Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)
Falconer, James Necdham, Christopher Thomas Watt, Henry Anderson
Gladstone, William G. C. Nuttall, Harry White, Major G. D. (Lanes., Southport)
Griffith, Ellis Jones Pease, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Rotherham) White, James Dundas (Glasgow)
Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke) Peto, Basil Edward Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)
Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) Pryce-Jones, Col. Edward Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcester, N.)
Gulland, John William Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Harmsworth, C. B. (Beds, Luton) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir Howell Davies and Mr. Gibbs.
Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West) Rea. Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour) Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M. Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)
Allen, A. Acland (Dumbartonshire) Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson Lardner, James C. R.
Archer-Shee, Major Martin Ffrench, Peter Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)
Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Field, William Levy, Sir Maurice
Benn, W. W. (T. H'mts, S. George) Flennes, Hon. Eustace Edward Lundon, Thomas
Bentham, George Jackson Fitzgibbon, John Lynch, Arthur Alfred
Beresford, Lord Charles Flavin, Michael Joseph Macpherson, James Ian
Bigland, Alfred Gilmour, Captain John MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Black, Arthur W. Goldstone, Frank (Sunderland) M'Ghee, Richard
Boland, John Pius Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough) Meagher, Michael
Booth, Frederick Handel Gretton, John Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Bowerman, Charles W. Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) Millar, James Duncan
Boyle, Daniel (Mayo, North) Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Mond, Sir Alfred Moritz
Brady, Patrick Joseph Hackett, John Morgan, George Hay
Bryce, John Annan Hall, Douglas B. (Isle of Wight) Morison, Hector
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Hamersley, Alfred St. George Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. (Ashburton)
Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood) Hancock, John George Muldoon, John
Chaloner, Col. R. G. W. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Newton, Harry Kottingham
Chapple, Dr. William Allen Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry Nolan, Joseph
dough, William Hayden, John Patrick O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Hazleton, Richard O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Higham, John Sharp O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Hodge, John O'Doherty, Philip
Crumley, Patrick Hogge, James M. O'Donnell, Thomas
Cullinan, John Hudson, Walter O'Kelly, E. P. (Wicklow, W.)
Dawes, James Arthur Hughes, Spencer Leigh O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)
De Forest, Baron Illingworth, Percy H. O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Donelan. Captain A. John, Edward Thomas O'Shee, James John
Doris, William Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil) O'Sullivan, Timothy
Doughty, Sir George Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, E.) Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)
Duffy, William J. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Parker, James (Halifax)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Keating, Matthew Parry, Thomas Henry
Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley) Kelly, Edward Pointer, Joseph
Elverston, Sir Harold Kilbride, Denis Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.) King, Joseph Pringle, William M. R.
Esslemont, George Birnie Kyffin-Taylor, Gerald Raffan, Peter Wilson
Reddy, Michael Sheeny, David Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay
Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.) Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Rendall, Athelstan Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.) Webb, Henry
Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven) Stewart, Gershom White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Roberts, George H. (Norwich) Sutton, John E. Whyte, A. F. (Perth)
Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Sykes, Mark (Hull, Central) Williams. Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Rowlands, James Taylor, Thomas (Bolton) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Tobin, Alfred Aspinall TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Joyce and Mr. Brace.
Sandys, George John Toulmin, Sir George
Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow) Walsh, S. (Lancashire, Ince)

Question put, and agreed to.

Amendments made: In Sub-section (2), leave out the word "direct" ["direct representation of shipowners"].—[Mr. Holt.]

In Sub-section (2) at end add the words: "(3) A Pilotage Order establishing a pilotage authority for any pilotage district shall provide for the representation on the pilotage authority of any dock or harbour authority having jurisdiction within the district which was represented on the pilotage authority for the district at the time of the passing of this Act, and which desires to be so represented."

In Sub-section (4) paragraph (a) leave out the words "for the purpose of carrying into effect any scheme under Part I. of this Act submitted to them by the pilotage authority, or recommended by the Commissioners for the purpose of the re-organisation or improvement of organisation of pilotage at any port; and" and insert instead thereof the words "for any of the purposes of Part I. of this Act."—[Mr. Buxton.]