HC Deb 28 April 1938 vol 335 cc308-9
67. Mr. R. Gibson

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that steerage passengers travelling on the Burns-Laird Company's boats between Greenock and Londonderry complain of the inadequacy of the accommodation available on these boats; and whether he will cause an examination to be made with a view to taking the necessary steps to secure that the company have the accommodation brought up to modern requirements?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Captain Euan Wallace)

No such complaints have so far been made to the Board of Trade. Matters affecting the comfort of passengers are primarily for the shipowner. The Board of Trade have no power to impose requirements as to passenger numbers or types of accommodation except on grounds of safety; but in fixing the maximum number of steerage passengers permitted to be carried in these ships the amount of shelter provided is taken into account.

Mr. Gibson

Has the right hon. and gallant Gentleman any information as to the relative merits of the cattle-carrying accommodation and the steerage passenger accommodation?

Captain Wallace

The whole of the information is available in the Department, and if the hon. and learned Member will put a question down I shall be delighted to give it.

Mr. Gallacher

Is the Minister aware that there has been no improvement in the accommodation of British passenger ships since the days before the War, and that on other lines there is improvement; and will he not make inquiries?