HC Deb 30 January 1918 vol 101 c1559
54. Mr. BYRNE

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the growing discontent amongst sailors and firemen of the mercantile marine caused by the inadequate sum awarded to their dependants in the event of their death at sea; if, in order to make sure that the trade and commerce of Great Britain and Ireland shall continue uninterrupted, he will issue instructions to have an insurance policy for £1,000 placed in the hands of every seaman's wife or principal dependant; and if he is aware of the dangers of a stoppage of the cross-Channel trade if adequate provision is not made for the dependants of the sailors and firemen in the event of their death at sea?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. I am not aware of the discontent referred to in the question, but am prepared to consider any evidence of grievance which the hon. Gentleman may put before me. If the hon. Gentleman studies the scheme which has been forwarded to him he will see that every captain, officer, and seaman on a merchant ship already has what is in effect free life insurance policy for a considerable sum. The capitalised value of the pension given would in the case of the higher ratings exceed the figure of £1,000 mentioned in the question.