§ Mr. SUMMERBELL
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the suicide at sea on 18th January of an Asiatic fireman named Ching Kung, whilst serving on the steamer "Avrino," of London; whether the seaman was medically examined before joining, and how long he had been on the vessel; whether he had any previous sea service; whether the seaman was on duty at the time; what was the temperature of the engine-room; what amount of coal were the engine-room hands required to work each 24 hours; and whether any previous cases of deaths from suicide, supposed suicide, or disappearance have occurred on this vessel?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The fireman Ching Kung jumped overboard from the "Avrino" in the Indian Ocean whilst on a voyage from Albany, Western Australia, to London. I am not aware whether he had been medically examined before joining; he was on board the "Avrino" about three months, but it is not known whether he had had previous sea service; he had just finished his watch when he went overboard. According to the report of the Vice-Consul at Port Said the temperature of the engine-room was 99 and of the stokehold 94; the consumption of coal was 42 tons, and the number of firemen and trimmers 12. No other case of suicide, supposed suicide, or disappearance has occurred in this vessel. Special inquiry is, however, to be made into the circumstances.