HC Deb 09 June 1915 vol 72 c261
54 and 55. Mr. FELL

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if there is any other reason for holding an inquiry into the loss of the "Lusitania," except the great size of the ship, than existed in respect of all the other liners and merchant ships which have been sunk by the enemy during the present War; and (2) if there is any precedent for the holding of a Board of Trade inquiry into the loss of a merchant ship which has been torpedoed or sunk by any means by a hostile warship during a time of war?


The main reason which led the Board of Trade, with the concurrence of the Admiralty, to order an inquiry under the Merchant Shipping Act into the loss of the "Lusifcania" was the desirability of ascertaining beyond dispute and by judicial investigation the facts and circumstances of this outrage, which involved such lamentable loss of life. Inquiries have been held during the present War into every case of the loss of a passenger steamer, by torpedo or mine, with consequent loss of life; and it is the general practice of the Board of Trade to order an inquiry into such a loss from whatever cause arising.