§ Mr. ALDEN
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has any information respecting the condition of the steamship "Belgic," which took 1,500 State-aided emigrants to Western Australia, leaving Liverpool on 25th September last and arriving at Fremantle on 9th November; whether the ship was overcrowded and the doctor admitted that the sanitary conditions were of the worst description; whether the staff was inadequate to meet the demands placed on it by this number of emigrants; whether there was a large amount of sickness on board, resulting in four deaths during the passage from the Cape to Fremantle; and whether any inquiry has been made into this matter?
An anonymous complaint which reached the Board of Trade with regard to the White Star steamer "Belgic" to which my hon. Friend refers was investigated as far as practicable. The vessel was surveyed and cleared by the Board's emigration officers at Liverpool in September last, when all the requirements of the Merchant Shipping Acts were duly complied with. If my hon. Friend has any definite information he can send me in regard to the matter, further inquiries shall be made.