37. Mr. HAMILTON BENN
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the various pilotage authorities in control of the Forth, Tay, Tyne, Wear, and Tees districts have applied to the Board of Trade to make Pilotage Orders providing that pilotage in these districts shall be compulsory; if so, whether he is aware that Pilotage Orders of this nature, if made by the Board of Trade, will have a prejudicial effect on the interests of merchant shipmasters and officers in these districts who hitherto have been piloting their own vessels, will subject them to trouble and expense, will jeopardise their employment, and will involve an additional financial burden on many shipowners; whether the Board of Trade will, in these circumstances, decline to sanction compulsory pilotage in the districts named and in other districts where similar applications may be made; and whether, in every case where compulsory Pilotage Orders are made, provision will be made in order that captains, officers, and shipowners shall not suffer hardship?
§ Mr. BURNS
None of the pilotage authorities referred to have applied to the Board of Trade for an Order to make pilotage in their district compulsory. Local inquiries are being held by Pilotage Commissioners at the various ports in the United Kingdom in compliance with Section 4 of the Pilotage Act, 1913, and Pilotage Orders will be made by the Board in due course and submitted to Parliament for confirmation. It is open to any persons interested to make representations to the Commissioners at such inquiries, and these will be carefully considered by the Commissioners and by the Board before any Order is made.