HL Deb 27 June 1899 vol 73 cc754-5

I beg to ask Her Majesty's Government whether their attention has been drawn to the court of inquiry recently held at Malta, where the certificate of the chief officer of the steamship" Mr. E. J. Kemp, was suspended for six months, and his arrest for manslaughter was ordered and effected; and whether, in consequence of the entire reversal of this judgment, owing to the ignorance of navigation displayed in the terms thereof, and also of the grave injustice placed upon Mr. Kemp, they would take the necessary steps so that such courts of inquiry at colonial possessions should have the benefit of the advice and assistance of two assessors having experience in the merchant service, as was stipulated by the Merchant Shipping Act of the United Kingdom, which was also adopted by the Indian Government.


The attention of Her Majesty's Government has been drawn to the circumstances to which the noble Lord refers connected with the court of inquiry recently held at Malta into the collision between the steamship "Kingswell" and the Ottoman ship "Maria." Inquiries into shipping casualties instituted in her Majesty's colonies and British possessions, abroad are held by courts appointed by the Governments of those colonies and possessions, and the provisions of the local Acts which govern the constitution of such courts already require, generally, the appointment of two assessors having experience in the merchant service, as in the case of inquiries held in the United Kingdom. The Board of Trade are already in communication, through the Colonial Office, with the different Colonial Governments, with a view to assimilate as far as possible the proceedure of wreck inquiries with that prescribed by the Imperial Act.

House adjourned at Eight of the clock, to Thursday next, half-past Ten of the clock.