HC Deb 22 July 1913 vol 55 cc1864-5
56. Mr. COOPER

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether Passenger steamers, other than those regulated by the Emigration Act, are surveyed by the Board's engineer surveyors who, in addition to inspecting the machinery, also inspect the life-saving appliances, boats, lights, charts, compasses, and other equipment; if so, whether he is satisfied that this class of surveyor is competent to inspect the nautical equipment of the vessels; whether he has received any complaints or suggestions that defective equipment has been responsible for recent accidents; whether he will inquire if any dissatisfaction exists among the Board's nautical surveyors on the subject; and whether he will in future limit the duties of the engineer surveyors to the inspection of machinery?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Buxton)

The main survey of all passenger steamers is in general conducted by the class of engineer and ship surveyors, with the assistance, where necessary, of surveyors of other grades. All the Board of Trade surveyors undergo a period of training, and are, I believe, competent for the duties they have to perform. I am unable to identify the complaints or suggestions with regard to recent accidents to which the hon. Member refers. I should be glad if he will give me particulars as to the cases he has in mind. If any class of the Board of Trade staff consider that they have any grievances which they desire to bring to my notice, ample means exist for the purpose.