HC Deb 06 March 1913 vol 49 cc24-6

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

(h) provide that pilotage shall be compulsory in any area where it has previously not been compulsory; and

Lords Amendment: After the word "compulsory" ["not been compulsory"], insert the words "or provide that pilotage shall be non-compulsory in any area where it has been compulsory."

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

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the Lords Amendment, after the word "provide," to insert the words "in connection with any rearrangement of a pilotage district."

I propose not to accept the Amendment of the Lords as it stands, but to make certain alterations which I understand will be generally acceptable to those interested in the Bill. The position is that the Lords have reinserted words which were in the Bill as originally introduced. Therefore, I cannot say that their proposal is an unsatisfactory one. But the question was considered here in the House, and also in the Grand Committee, and these words were struck out. I should be sorry at this late stage of the proceedings to ask the House to reintroduce words which they have already rejected. The proceedings throughout have been in the nature of a friendly compromise, and, having been in communication with those interested in the matter, I can make a suggestion which I think will meet with general acceptance, and enable this particular question to be decided. In view of all the circumstances, then I propose that in agreeing to the Lords proposals that we shall add words that we have prepared. As to the compensation, it is very unlikely that it will be used to any large extent. It is already the existing law, but it is hardly ever used. The pilots will be fully protected.


I am very sorry that in another place the Amendment that was carried in this House was deleted. That Amendment was to give power to the Board of Trade to make ports that are now compulsory non-compulsory. At the same time I recognise the position we are placed in. I recognise the difficulty at this late stage of the life of the Session of sending this measure back. A reasonable compromise has been offered, which all sides have accepted. I will not, therefore, divide the House on any portion of this Amendment. Let me say I do not at all like the position in which I am placed. I do not at all like to agree with what the Lords have put in; at the same time in view of all the circumstances I am not going to be a party to killing the Bill, which has many good points about it. Therefore I may tell the President of the Board of Trade I will accept the added words to the Lords Amendments, and I hope that this Bill will become law.


I have taken considerable interest in this Bill, and I should like to accept it only with a very bad grace. Really there is nothing to be thankful for in this Amendment, except this: That the Bill will pass now instead of in a year's time. Let me remind the House what the issue is. This proposal which has been inserted in another place will allow a port district where pilotage is now compulsory to be made non-compulsory. I believe it is for the safety of our coasts, for the safety of our shipping generally, and for the general well-being that pilotage should be compulsory everywhere. That was the opinion of the Departmental Committee, and it was upon their Report that the Bill was originally founded. Therefore, those who in another place have inserted this provision have gone really diametrically opposite to the considered opinion of the experts who decided the question on the fullest consideration of the evidence. I very much regret that the Amendment has been made, but, as I said, I shall accept it. I believe those well acquainted with pilotage and shipping circles generally do not view this Amendment with any favour. I think it has been put in out of the spirit that some alteration must be made, and not really on any adequate ground.

Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.


I beg to move, at the end of the Lords Amendment, to add the words "subject to provision being also made for the payment of compensation to the pilots concerned for any loss or damage which may be incurred by them in consequence of such rearrangement."

Question, "That those words be there added to the Lords Amendment," put, and agreed to.

Question, "That this House doth agree with the Lords Amendment as amended," put, and agreed to.

Lords Amendment: At end of Subsection (1), after the word "Order," insert the words "and (m) provide, if it appears just, for compensation being paid to any pilots for any loss or damage which may be incurred by them in consequence of the Order."

Question, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment," put, and agreed to.