§ Mr. PETO
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that a vessel, the "Restitution," mailed on the- 819W 28th ultimo from Liverpool under the British flag with no certificated officer on board; and, seeing that under the Merchant Shipping Act a vessel of her size should have had a master and at least one officer holding a British certificate, whether he will take steps to enforce compliance with the Merchant Shipping Act in all cases?
If the hon. Gentleman will refer to House of Commons Return No. 92, dated July, 1916, he will see that this vessel was exempted from the requirement as to certificated officers on the ground that the vessel was to be employed in whaling, and British officers with experience in whaling were not available. The condition imposed was that the Norwegian officers carried should possess certificates showing satisfactory qualifications. Each case in which this power of exemption is exercised has, under the Act, to be reported to Parliament.