§ Mr. SUMMERBELL
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the suicide at sea on 4th July, 1909, of an Asiatic coal trimmer, named Chendoo Rahiman, whilst serving on the steamer "Visigoth," of Southampton; whether any inquiry has been held into the matter; whether the seaman was medically examined before joining; how long he had served on the vessel; whether he had any previous sea service; whether he was on duty at the time; what was the temperature of the engine room and stokehold; how many tons of coal the engine room hands were required to work each 24 hours; and 2337W whether any previous cases of suicide, supposed suicide, or disappearance have occurred on this vessel?
The Asiatic fireman referred to in the question jumped overboard from the "Visigoth" whilst on a voyage from Leghorn to Ymuiden. Inquiry was held by the Consul at Rotterdam and by a deputy superintendent of the Mercantile Marine Office at South Shields. The man was shipped at Bombay, and I am informed that all native seamen shipped at that port are medically examined. He had been at least six weeks on board the "Visigoth" and had had four years' previous sea service. He was on duty at the time. The temperature of the engine-room was 90 degrees, and of the stokehold 76 degrees. The coal consumption was about 21½ tons per day and the number of firemen and trimmers was 14. No other case of suicide, supposed suicide, or disappearance has occurred on board this vessel.