§ Mr. COURTHOPE
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether his attention has been drawn to the loss of the smack "Naomi and Lizzie," of Rye, which was run down while trawling on the 9th September by the barque "Lawhill," with the loss of two lives; whether the Board of Trade declined to send a representative to the inquest; whether the inquest was adjourned in order that the Board of Trade might be represented; and whether he will undertake to send a representative to the adjourned inquest on 15th October; and. (2) whether, in view of the recent loss by collision of the smack "Naomi and Lizzie," of Bye, and the frequent accidents of a similar nature, he will take active steps to provide for the better protection of boats engaged in fishing, and rendered helpless by their nets?
As regards this case, in the first instance the Vicar of Rye Harbour suggested that a representative of the Board of Trade should attend the inquest on the bodies of the two men who were unfortunately drowned. It is not, however, usual for the Department to be represented at an inquest unless the coroner specially asks for assistance. I have, however, now received a communication from the coroner, and have replied that a representative of the Board of Trade will attend the adjourned inquest 363W for the purpose of giving technical assistance to the coroner, if desired. Full provision is already made in the Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea for the lights and signals to be carried by fishing boats engaged in trawling and for other sailing vessels to keep out of their way. On the conclusion of the inquest I will carefully consider whether any further action is required in the case.