§ Lord STANLEY
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the report of the Court which investigated the loss with all hands of the s.s. "Nunnington," where it has been found that the vessel left Swansea on the 11th April last in improper trim, overloaded, and of insufficient stability; why, having regard to its importance, the Board of Trade did not cause the owner to be made a party to this inquiry; whether at any time prior to her loss the vessel was surveyed by Board of Trade surveyors; if so, can he state the nature of their reports; whether they reported that no data was provided for those on board as regards the stability of the vessel; and whether, as the Court states that the form of the "Nunnington" was similar to most vessels of her type, the Board of Trade intend to act upon the recommendation of the Court that no vessel should leave any British shipyard and go in service unless and until the vessel has been proved to have sufficient stability for the intended trading, and that those who have responsibility in the matter should be in possession of simple and clear data to enable them to provide for sufficient stability for all possible light and loaded conditions?
The Board of Trade have now under consideration the report of the Court of Inquiry into the circumstances attending the loss of the steamship "Nunnington." On the information available at the time when the inquiry was ordered, there was not sufficient reason for making the owner a party to the inquiry, the primary object of the inquiry being to establish the cause of the loss of the vessel, with a view to preventing similar occurrences in future. The vessel was seen by the Board of Trade surveyors on 547W three occasions, namely, in November, 1920, August, 1922, and December, 1923. On each of these occasions the life-saving appliances and lights were inspected and found satisfactory. In August, 1922, the vessel was detained for being overladen, and in December, 1923, certain repairs to the hull, necessitated by the vessel having been aground, were seen and found satisfactory. No report was received by the Board of Trade to the effect that no data were provided for the use of those on board regarding the stability of the vessel. The important general questions raised by this report and the recommendations of the Court on the subject of stability are being carefully considered by the Board.