HC Deb 10 June 1913 vol 53 cc1430-1
62. Mr. ASTOR

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the tug "Boar-hound," on 26th December last, took in tow the launch of the King's harbour master, Plymouth Sound, at considerable risk owing to the high sea running, and saved the launch from going ashore; whether the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have refused to make any payment on account of salvage; and, if so, whether he will state the reason for this decision?


The King's harbour master's launch and the "Boarhound," the latter towing a lifeboat, went out to ships in distress on 26th December. At one stage of the operations the "Boarhound" asked the launch's help to assist to drift the lifeboat on to the "Ottawa." At a later stage the "Boarhound" took the launch in tow, a service which would probably have not been required had it not been for the want of judgment shown by the "Boarhound" in slipping the lifeboat to attempt to salve the "Ottawa." As regards the safety of the launch, there were two Government tugs near, besides which she might have grappled a water-logged vessel, past which she would have drifted. There is no legal liability, and, in view of all the circumstances, I am not prepared to recommend any Grant to the tug.


If the Government does not make a fair payment for salvage in this case, is it not likely that it may have a bad effect in future?


I do not admit that there was any liability or that the circumstances in this case justify our making any Grant. The whole of the circumstances have been gone into very carefully.