§ 15. Captain Viscount CURZON
asked the President of the Board of Trade, if the statutory regulations of his Department require that, before proceeding to sea, a ship shall comply with the requirements of Section 457 of the Merchant Shipping Act as to her seaworthiness; and whether, if the Board's personnel is not adequate to cope with the necessary duties as required by the Merchant Shipping 190 Act, Sections 457 to 463, he will take steps to increase the marine survey staff of the Board in order to ensure that no vessel shall leave for sea in an unseaworthy condition?
Under the Merchant Shipping Acts any person who sends or attempts to send an unseaworthy ship to sea is guilty of a misdemeanour. These Acts further give power to the Board of Trade and their officers to detain unseaworthy ships. There are no statutory regulations as to unseaworthiness. The detention of unseaworthy ships is one of the most important duties of the Board of Trade surveyors. The present staff is considered sufficient to carry out the statutory duties of the Board, but the matter is constantly under observation, and if the staff were found to be inadequate, steps would be taken to increase it.