HC Deb 15 December 1936 vol 318 cc2264-5
14. Lord APSLEY

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that Dutch motor-ships and barges coming into the Port of London are persistently evading pilotage in a compulsory area on the inward journey, and that when outward bound, though unable to avoid pilotage, they take a pilot with reluctance, and on more than one occasion the pilots have been offended by the persistent violence of the Dutch captains' language and behaviour throughout the journey; and whether he will make representations to the Dutch authorities on the subject so as to avoid any possibility of an international incident?


I am informed by Trinity House that, apart from a serious complaint received from a pilot who recently piloted a Dutch motor vessel outwards, and which they have not yet fully investigated, they are unaware either of any persistent evasion of pilotage in the London district or of conduct on the part of the Dutch captains of the nature referred to in the question. They understand, however, that there is a certain amount of dissatisfaction among the pilots at the lack of civility not infrequently shown by captains of Dutch ships. I am asking Trinity House to furnish me with the result of their investigations into the case referred to, and I will then consider whether representations to the Dutch authorities are called for.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the danger to other ships in these very narrow channels, that the captain cannot possibly navigate his ship and engage in conversation with the pilot, and that the pilot cannot do his job if at the same time he is in conversation with the captain?


That is a situation that will be kept in mind.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that incivility among seamen is quite different from incivility among landsmen?


I quite realise that an amount of latitude of language is granted to bargees which is not enjoyed by others.