§ Mr. CHARLES BATHURST
asked the Secretary to the Treasury the reasons why the Board of Customs and Excise recently declined to permit the ss. "Indra," belonging to Messrs. Samuel Samuel and Company, British merchants and shippers, to continue to be registered as a British vessel or to enjoy the protection of the British flag and the British Government?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
It is provided by Section 1 in Part I. of the Merchant Shipping Act. 1894, which relates to Registry, that a ship shall not be deemed to be a British ship unless it is owned wholly by persons qualified to be owners of British ships, and the qualification in the case of a body corporate is that it must be established under, and subject to the laws of some part of His Majesty's Dominions, and having its principal place of business in those Dominions. In the case of the "Indra" it was stated in the declaration of ownership, which is one of the papers required to be produced to the Registrar of shipping, that, the company had its principal place of business in Yokohama, and upon this statement the Commissioners of Customs and Excise were unable to recognise the company as being a body corporate qualified to be registered as the owner of a British ship.