HC Deb 16 July 1931 vol 255 cc764-5
69. Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to recent cases of the paying off of white crews from ships trading from home ports and the signing on of crews of Arabs in their place; and whether he will consider the introduction of legislation to remedy this state of affairs?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. William Graham)

My attention has been called to cases of the kind referred to in the question. The matter will continue to be carefully watched, but as at present advised I am not prepared to propose fresh legislation.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Can my right hon. Friend deal with the case of ships from Hull to the Plate paying off their white crews and engaging Arabs? Can nothing be done about this matter? [HON. MEMBERS: "Free Trade!"] No, it is not Free Trade.


I have explained to my hon. and gallant Friend that I have done everything in my power in these cases, but we have no legislation; and there is the further fact that many of the men are British subjects.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the position is becoming worse, because whereas formerly these Arabs were employed mostly on Eastern runs, they are now coming more and more to the home ports?


I can only undertake to look into the last point.

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

Do not the Government always prefer to give employment to foreigners?


I cannot allow the statement in that supplementary question to pass. A lot of these men are British subjects.


Are the owners of these ships British?