§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ Major ARCHER-SHEE
This Bill represents the remains of a Bill which was introduced last year. It is a truncated Bill and only deals with one of the sub- 1212 jects which were in the Bill last year, namely, the granting of certificates of competency as masters or mates. In the Debate last year the late President of the Board of Trade made a distinct promise that in the Bill to be introduced this year there would be provisions dealing with other matters. Speaking on 16th July last year, he said:—The Merchant Shipping Bill was introduced, and undoubtedly next Session such a Bill will have to be introduced for several purposes. I certainly propose to include some provisions as to the number of mates and engineers required in foreign-going shipsThis Bill has nothing whatever in it in relation to this important question, namely, the officering of foreign-going merchant vessels. It has nothing in it with reference to the officering of home-trade cargo vessels, another matter which was included in the Bill of last year. As regards the granting of certificates of competency as masters or mates, this Bill deals with the authority of the Board of Trade over the examiners. This class of officer under the Board of Trade is made up of men who have served very many years in the mercantile marine before they enter the Civil Service at all, and they are men who must have commanded a ship for one year on foreign service. They must also be in possession of an extra-certificate, which is the highest possible certificate that can be obtained in navigation. And yet we find that these men in a great many cases are at present paid only the miserable salary of £200 a year, rising in most cases to a maximum of £300. The greatest salary throughout the United Kingdom is only £400.
It being a Quarter-past Eight of the clock, further Proceeding was postponed, without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 4.