§ 27. Mr. CADOGAN
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the comment of the Naval Court inquiry into the loss of the British steamer "Dalton," held recently, His Majesty's Government will take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that British merchant ships shall be compelled to carry British captains and officers?
The law as to the nationality of officers of British ships is 905 contained in Section 5 (1) of the Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act, 1919, which provides that no alien shall act as master, chief officer or chief engineer of a British merchant ship registered in the United Kingdom, except in the case of a ship or boat employed habitually in voyages between ports outside the United Kingdom. Further restrictions could not be imposed without legislation, and I am not satisfied that there is sufficient ground for proposing further restrictive legislation on this subject.
§ Mr. CADOGAN
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that about a thousand British certificated officers are out of employment, and will he take steps to see that only British officers are employed on British ships?
I know that there is a certain amount of unemployment, but I do not think that legislation on these lines will help. The only result will be to transfer these ships to another flag.
§ Sir A. SHIRLEY BENN
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there are hundreds of British steamers trading between foreign ports that will not hand their papers to British Consuls, and does he not think that it is time that steps were taken to see that British ships had British captains?