HC Deb 09 January 1913 vol 46 cc1367-8
66. Mr. J. P. FARRELL

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will state the class to which the Peninsular and Oriental boat "Narrung" belongs; whether she was a cargo tramp steamer, bought from the Blue Anchor Line to be used for the transport of emigrants to Australia on assisted passages; how many tons of cargo and how many tons of coal she carried on her last voyage; what was the height of her main deck above water and load line; and whether, with reference to the complaint as to nearly capsizing on her last voyage from Australia, he has called for a copy of the ship's log or intends doing so?

Mr. GULLAND (Lord of the Treasury)

Perhaps I may be allowed to answer these questions in the absence of the right hon. Gentleman in Committee upstairs. The "Narrung" has held a foreign-going passenger certificate from the Board of Trade continuously since she was built in 1896 for the Australian passenger service. Previous to 1910 she belonged to the Blue Anchor Line, but was not a cargo tramp steamer. On her last voyage she carried 3,500 tons measurement and 2,026 tons weight of cargo and also 1,500 tons of coal. The upper deck was 7 feet 1 inch above the water line. My right hon. Friend has not called for the ship's log-book as it is not usual to enter in that book the vessel's angle of heel. The owners and the master informs me that there is no foundation for the suggestion that the ship nearly capsized on her last voyage to Australia.


Will the President of the Board of Trade send one of the in- spectors of the Marine Department to make inquiries of some other officials besides the master and owner?


I will convey to my right hon. Friend what the hon. Gentleman has asked.


Is it customary to survey and inspect a ship after she has been loaded and before she sets out on her voyage?


I cannot give the hon. member an answer, but I will bring his question to the notice of my right hon. Friend.

67. Mr. J. P. FARRELL

asked whether the President of the Board of Trade has made or intends to make any inquiry into the manning of the emigrant ship "Narrung" on her last outward trip to Australia; whether a number of the stewards were really assisted emigrants who were to be paid £1 each for their services at the end of the voyage; whether these men had any experience at all of seamanship; and, if not, why the Board of Trade allowed such a class of persons to be employed by the Peninsular and Oriental Line?


As the "Narrung" was an emigrant ship, inquiry was made as to the manning before the vessel started on her last voyage, and the manning, both on deck and in the engine-room, complied with the Board of Trade requirements. The number of stewards exceeded the requirements by over twenty, and there were also five men who agreed to work as general servants in return for their passage out and a sum of 10s. on arrival. One of the five had previous sea experience.