My Lords, I rise, in accordance with the notice standing in my name, to ask His Majesty's Government whether, having regard to the recommendations of a Departmental Committee to consider the extension of the Accident Compensation Acts, they have now framed their Bill extending accident compensation to seamen which the Merchant Service Guild have been informed by the Board of Trade was under consideration; and whether, in view of the fact that the master, who is subjected to similar risks, is the only member of a ship's crew who in the eyes of the law is not a seaman, and that the Merchant Shipping Act already adopts the principle of a shipowner's liability when a master is injured in the service of the ship, they have included, or will include, masters in the benefits arising from the Bill when sanctioned by Parliament.
§ THE UNDER - SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (The Duke of MARLBOROUGH)
My Lords, I can assure my noble friend, in reply to his Question, that the Board of Trade recognise the importance of this matter. The Bill concerning which he has asked for information has not yet been drafted, but the principle of dealing with the question by amendment of the Merchant Shipping Act has been approved of. When the measure is prepared the question of applying its provisions to masters as well as to seamen will be carefully and sympathetically considered.
§ House adjourned at ten minutes before Seven o'clock, to Thursday next, a quarter past Four o'clock.