HC Deb 26 February 1929 vol 225 cc1744-5
6. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the National Maritime Board has come to an agreement by which in future vessels of more than 2,750 tons gross trading beyond Western European limits will carry three certificated navigating officers as from 1st September next; whether this will affect all vessels on the British register; what means there will be of enforcing it; and whether it is intended to amend the Merchant Shipping Acts accordingly?


The Board of Trade have been informed that an agreement has been reached by the National Maritime Board to the effect that foreign-going vessels of 2,750 tons gross and upwards, when trading outside Western European limits, shall carry three certificated navigating officers in addition to the master. The agreement will presumably apply to all vessels for which shipowners represented on the National Maritime Board are responsible. I have no reason to suppose that British shipowners who have deliberately entered into this agreement do not intend to observe it. It is not proposed to amend the Merchant Shipping Act.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

How does the hon. Gentleman know that it will be observed by those who do not belong to or are not represented en the National Maritime Board?


I think we ought to give the scheme a chance before criticising it.


Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that no case has ever been known where shipowners have not carried out loyally the decision of the National Maritime Board, on which shipowners, sailors, and firemen are represented?


I think the National Maritime Board does its work exceedingly well.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

In that case, why not introduce a short amending Bill, which would be sure passing through this House, to make this statutory?


Questions on business should be addressed to the Prime Minister.

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