HC Deb 04 December 1934 vol 295 cc1394-5
10. Mr. LOGAN

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now in a position to state if any inquiry is to be held into the loss of the steamship "Millpool"?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Runciman)

According to the evidence available, the steamship "Millpool" sailed from Danzig at 7.30 a.m. on the 17th September with a cargo of rye. At that time she was in good seaworthy condition, well found and the stowage and distribution of the cargo appeared to be satisfactory. There is no evidence to suggest that the cargo shifted at any time. She had reasonable trim, was not overladen and had sufficient stability. Her manning was not below the minimum prescribed by the Instructions issued by the Board of Trade. Wireless messages indicate that the "Millpool" had been driving before the gale in a helpless condition from 1 p.m. on the 1st October; and that at some time before 7.57 p.m. on the 2nd October the after hatch was stove in, the main topmast gone and a temporary aerial had been rigged and was in use. After that time wireless messages throw little light on what was happening on board. Nothing was seen or heard of the vessel after 1.59 a.m. on the 3rd October nor was any wreckage seen by vessels which proceeded to her position.

So many facts are unknown and cannot now be discovered that it is not possible to come to any definite conclusion as to the cause of the loss of the vessel but it is clear that she encountered exceptionally severe weather conditions. A thorough investigation into all the evidence available as to the loss of the ship has been made by the technical officers of my Department. As there is no possibility of obtaining any further information as to the actual course of events, owing to the loss of all on board, I am afraid that no useful purpose would be served by holding any further inquiry.