§ Mr. HAVELOCK WILSON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the suicide at sea, on 11th October, 1908, of an Asiatic fireman named Md Cassum Sk Ahmed on the steamer "Asama," of Liverpool; whether the seaman was medically examined before joining the vessel; whether he had any previous sea service; whether the Board of Trade surveyors have satisfactorily reported upon the ventilation of the stokehold; if he can state the amount of coals the stokehold hands were required to work each 24 hours; and whether any previous cases of suicide, supposed suicide, or disappearance have occurred on this ship?
Yes, Sir. The man referred to jumped overboard on a voyage from Sabang to Kong-Kong. He had been occasionally relieved from duty on account of illness and had received medical attendance at Sabang, but I am not aware whether he had been medically examined before joining the ship or had had previous sea service. He was physically fit to do 1787W his work when well. The Board of Trade Surveyors reported favourably on the ventilation, and arrangements were made for registration of temperatures in future. The number of firemen and trimmers was 16 and the coal consumption was 23 tons Welsh or 25 tons Natal coal. No previous case of suicide, supposed suicide or disappearance has occurred amongst the engine-room staff of this vessel during the last three years.