§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE EARL OF HARDWICKE
, in moving the second reading of this Bill, said that nothing had tended more to the destruction of ships in the merchant service, and the consequent loss of life, than the use of defective anchors and cables. In proof of this he would refer to the Report written by Admiral Dundas when in command of our fleet in the Black Sea, where, daring the memorable storm that occurred on 14th of November, 1854, no fewer than thirty transports were lost through the parting of their cables, or the breaking of their anchors, white not one of Her Majesty's ships suffered seriously upon that occasion. The reason was, no doubt, that all the cables and anchors in the Royal service were rigorously tested; and the object of the present Bill was to introduce a similar security in the case of chains and cables used in the mercantile marine. He was convinced the measure was calculated to confer great benefit upon the shipping interest. In one week of December, 1862, no fewer than 190 disasters occurred to our mercantile marine on the English coast, and he believed that in all those cases the vessels were injured or lost entirely from the use of bad anchors and cable. The provisions of the Bill were no more than, were necessary to secure the object in view. It had been suggested that a clause, should be, inserted to exempt the Trinity Board from the operation of the Bill; but it was peculiarly desirable that the light ships stationed on the sands and shoals of the cost should preserve their position. It was said that the Trinity Board tested 1535 their anchors and cables; but so did some of the great manufacturers who might equally claim exemption with the Trinity Board. He hoped, therefore, that the Bill would pass in its present form; but of course if a case were made out, the Bill might undergo alteration in Committee.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.— (The Earl of Hardwicke.)
§ LORD STANLEY OF ALDERLEY
said, he thought the Bill was likely to prove an extremely useful one. It was perfectly true that many of the disasters which occurred in our mercantile marine arose from the use of defective anchors and cables, and many of these evils might be prevented by applying to all vessels a test similar to that to which they had recourse in the Royal Navy. The Bill had been considered in the other House of Parliament in the course of two Sessions, and a select Committee to whom it had been referred had reported unanimously in its favour. As to the claim of the Trinity Board for exemption, this would form a proper subject for consideration in Committee.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the whole House on Thursday next.