HC Deb 23 March 1914 vol 60 cc33-4
67. Mr. PETO

aked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in respect to Board of Trade inquiries into shipping casualities where the conduct of the cases and questions submitted to the Court by the Board suggest blame on the part of the shipmasters or officers concerned, he will now give instructions that in the event of their being found blameless by the Court applications they may make for the legal costs they have incurred in their defence shall not be opposed by those representing the Board of Trade at these inquiries, but left to the unfettered discretion of the Courts to whom such applications may be made?


I am afraid that it is not possible to give an undertaking which would be universally applicable. While in some such cases the Board of Trade would no doubt feel warranted in not opposing applications for costs or for a fixed sum towards costs there might be circumstances in other cases which would make it their duty to take a different course.


Will the right hon. Gentleman use his influence to avoid as far as possible this great injustice which is now being done to officers at these inquiries?


I am afraid at this moment I can add nothing to my answer.