HC Deb 17 March 1925 vol 181 cc2033-4

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether there are any captains of British ships who do not possess the Board of Trade certificate of competence; if so, how many; and how many aliens are included in this number?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister)

Masters of home trade cargo ships are not required by law to have certificates of competency, and it is not possible to say, without examining the papers of each ship, how many of the masters have not got certificates. Section 5 of the Aliens Restriction Act prohibits the employment of aliens as masters of British ships, except those employed habitually in voyages between ports outside the United Kingdom.

Captain EVANS

Is it not a fact that there are many captains of British ships possessing masters' certificates who are unemployed, and does not the right hon. Gentleman think that the practice of employing non-competent men in this capacity is contrary to the best interests of the British mercantile marine?


No. I deprecate the use of the adjective "non-competent." The law is that a particular certificate is required for ships carrying passengers, but I deprecate the suggestion that masters of British coasting vessels, who arc very competent as British seamen, are not competent for their job.

Captain EVANS

I beg to withdraw that adjective.

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