§ 4.29 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Walkden.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly:
§ [The LORD HOLDEN in the Chair.]
§ Clauses 1 and 2 agreed to.
§ Clause 3:
§ Inspections of crew accommodation.
§ (2) If, upon any such inspection, the surveyor is satisfied that the crew accommodation complies with the regulations, he shall (except where the inspection is made in consequence of a complaint) give to the registrar of British ships a certificate to that effect; and every such certificate shall specify the amount of the space to be deducted from the tonnage of the ship under Section seventy-nine of the principal Act in respect of that accommodation.
§ (3) If, upon any such inspection, it appears to the surveyor that the accommodation does not comply with the regulations, then, unless it appears to him—
- (a) that the failure to comply is not substantial; and
- (b) that it will be remedied within a reasonable time,
§ (4) Where any such report is made, then, unless and until it is certified by a surveyor of ships that the accommodation complies with 713 the regulations, no deduction from the tonnage of the ship shall be made under Section seventy-nine of the principal Act in respect of that accommodation, and if the ship has been registered, her registered tonnage shall be altered accordingly.
LORD WALKDEN moved to omit all words from "certificate" (where that words first occurs) in subsection (2) down to and including "tonnage" in subsection (4), and to insert in lieu thereof:
specifying as space deductible under Section seventy-nine of the principal Act the whole of the space comprised in that accommodation, except any part thereof required by the regulations to be disregarded in estimating the space so to be deducted.
(3) If, upon any such inspection, it appears to the surveyor that the accommodation does not comply in all respects with the regulations, he may give to the registrar a certificate specifying as space deductible as aforesaid such part of the space comprised in the accommodation as he considers appropriate having regard to the extent to which it complies with the regulations, but if he does not give such a, certificate he shall report to the registrar that no space is deductible as aforesaid:
Provided that the surveyor shall not be required to make such a report as aforesaid—
(4) Where any certificate is given or report made under the foregoing provisions of this Section in respect of a ship already registered, any certificate previously given thereunder in respect of that ship shall cease to have effect, and the registered tonnage of the ship.
§ The noble Lord said: I have been asked to submit to the Committee an Amendment which will improve the Bill and which, I am advised, is necessary to make the working arrangements operate better than they otherwise might do. Clause 3 deals with the inspection of crew accommodation, and it has long been the case—ever since 1934, I understand—that if a Government surveyor or inspector, on receiving a complaint, found the accommodation faulty, inadequate or unsatisfactory, he could disallow from the ship's registration the tonnage represented by the space in question. We find that, under this new Bill, as it stands, he would either have to disallow the whole of the crew accommodation from the tonnage or none at all. If, for instance, he found the quarters of the ship's officers seriously unsatisfactory, instead of being allowed to apportion and disallow that part of 714 the space, he would have either to disallow all the crew accommodation as well, or not disallow any space at all.
§ Broadly speaking, accommodation runs in three sections, for officers, seamen and firemen. The wording of the Amendment we propose is much the same as the original wording of the clause, except that it gives full discretion to the inspector to act reasonably and sensibly in respect of whatever may be amiss, to disallow a small portion of tonnage where only a small portion is affected, or to make more serious disallowances if matters are heavily at fault. It may make it more easy for your Lordships to accept the Amendment if I assure the House that it is intended to provide for the continuance of present practice under the Act of 1906. In that case the surveyor was given power to exercise discretion, and in the new Bill it was thought best to adopt a kind of medium wording in respect of matters with which he is concerned. I feel sure your Lordships will accept this Amendment. I beg to move.
Page 5, line 4, leave out from (" certificate ") to (" shall ") in line 20, and insert the said new words.—(Lord Walkden.)
§ LORD LLEWELLIN
I think these words are an improvement on those originally in the Bill. As the noble Lord has told us, the Amendment allows the present practice, which has worked extremely well in nearly every case, to continue. I think it right that we should not leave the clause as rigid as it originally was in the Bill. We certainly agree with the Amendment.
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 3, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clause 4 [Amendments consequential on S.1]:
§ LORD WALKDEN
This Amendment is merely consequential on the Amendment your Lordships have just adopted. It is a matter of drafting. I beg to move.
Page 6, line 26, at end insert "Provided that any certificate given, in relation to any such ship as aforesaid, under paragraph (3) of the said Sixth Schedule before the date on which the regulations apply thereto shall have effect for the purposes of this Act and of the principal Act as if it had been given under the last foregoing section."—(Lord Walkden.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.715
§ Clause 4, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clauses 5 and 6 agreed to.
§ Clause 7 [Expenses of maintenance in case of injury or sickness]:
LORD WALKDEN moved, after "port" and immediately before the proviso, to insert "and of his conveyance to the port." The noble Lord said: Here there is a group of Amendments which seek to alter two small paragraphs in Clause 7, and include all the new matter we desire to add for the social security of the working seamen. The clause was found rather deficient in wording when compared with the intention of the Convention that is to be ratified, in that there is no clear arrangement to cover the expenses of a sick or injured seaman on his journey home—no provision for him to be returned to a proper port. Therefore these adjustments are required in the wording. It will be easier to follow if I read the clause as it will appear with the insertion of all these Amendments on the paper. The clause, as amended, will read:
Subject as hereinafter provided, the expenses which, under subsection (1) of Section 34 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1906, are to be defrayed by the owner in the case of a master or seaman or apprentice who receives any hurt or injury in the service of a ship or suffers from any illness shall include the expenses of his maintenance during any period during which he is unemployed after he has been cured and before he has been returned to a proper return port and of his conveyance to the port:
Provided that an owner shall not be liable by virtue of this section to pay the expenses of the maintenance of any person during any period or of his conveyance to a proper port if he shows that that person had refused an offer of suitable employment on board a British ship proceeding within a reasonable time to a proper return port, or had refused to comply with any other reasonable arrangements made for his return to a proper return port.
These Amendments cover the man and ensure that he will be returned home, and also safeguard the employer against unreasonable conduct on the part of the man concerned. I beg to move.
Page 9, line 4, at end insert (" and of his conveyance to the port: ").—(Lord Walkden.)
§ LORD LLEWELLIN
I think these Amendments, too, are reasonable ones. As the noble Lord has said, it is quite right that a man should be conveyed back to a return port, but not if he has refused 716 any reasonable offer made to him to go back in a British ship. We certainly have no objection to any of these Amendments.
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
Page 9, line 7, after (" period ") insert (" or of his conveyance to a proper return port ")
line 7, leave out from (" person ") to (" had ") in line 8 and insert (" had refused an offer of suitable employment on "board a British ship proceeding within a reasonable time to a proper return port, or ")
line 9, after (" with ") insert (" any other reasonable ").—(Lord Walkden.)
§ On Question, Amendments agreed to.
§ Clause 7, as amended, agreed to.
§ Remaining clauses agreed to.
§ House resumed.