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classification could only be obtained by survey. When a demand was made for the strict survey of ships, it seemed to be taken for granted that the trade was in the hands of great firms. But the chief trainers of our seamen were the small shipowners, and if their enterprize were checked the monopoly of the trade would be thrown into the hands of the large shipowners. Small shipowners carried on the greater part of the coasting trade, and they were, perhaps, the most skilful navigators in the world. The small ships were oftened owned and navigated by a man with the help of his own sons and nephews. The trade formed a noble nursery of seamen, and, on the whole, it was safely conducted, and the House should be very careful not to interfere with it. He should be glad if the Government would insert some protecting words in the clause empowering onefourth of the crew to call for a survey and prevent a ship from going to sea. The ordinary crew of a vessel of 500 tons was eight men; and if two of them were foreigners, or chanced to be conditioned men who came on board in a state of intoxication, it would be dangerous to give them the power of threatening the master with a survey. He was very glad to hear from his right hon. Friend that words would be inserted in the Bill to prevent frivolous attempts to obtain a survey of ships about to proceed to sea.

what was most for the public benefit, but he regretted the very cautious and guarded speech which fell from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. [“No, no!"] The Government had introduced a Bill on this subject, which they saw fit to withdraw, and it was not till there had been a strong expression of public feeling that a temporary measure was introduced. He repeated that he had listened with regret to the exceedingly guarded nature of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. It was a speech well adapted to the introduction of a Bill at the commencement of a Session, but very badly adapted to the bringing in of a measure like that before the House at the end of a Session, and under the circumstances out of which it had arisen. When they were legislating on load lines and deck loads it was necessary to be very careful, but it was important to pass a measure which would cause satisfaction to the public. Notwithstanding all the guards with which the right hon. Gentleman had surill-rounded the subject, he (Mr. Reed) was glad that the Government in Committee would consider the question of grain cargoes and deck cargoes, and if they introduced clauses which would strike at the root of the evil their proposals would meet universal concurrence on that side of the House, and he, for one, did not care a single straw whether the words of the necessary Amendments were those of the President of the Board of Trade or those of which he had given Notice. He had, however, heard with much regret that the Government were not willing to entertain the questions of survey and load line during the present Session. They were thus about to act as though their own measure did not virtually involve the settlement of a load line for ships, and the consideration of whether ships were or were not seaworthy. A moment's reflection, however, would show that the measure must imply a definition of load line, and the question of soundness or unsoundness. Could the President of the Board of Trade or any agent acting for him lay hold of a ship on the ground that she was overloaded without defining the line beyond which she ought not to have been loaded? Assuredly not; and, therefore, what they asked, in the interest of trade and commerce and of the shipowners themselves, was that the Government

MR. E. J. REED said, he was sure that hon. Members speaking on this subject would bear in mind that it should be discussed in view of the fact that they were approaching the end of the Session, and without any attempt or desire to gain an advantage over the Government. It should be discussed in a tone entirely free from Party bias, and they should rather support the Government, and not put any unnecessary obstruction in their way. He feared that the object and wish of hon. Members on that side of the House were alike misunderstood by the Government. They had no desire to impose upon the Government any precise regulation or form of words, but only to induce them, in view of the feeling prevailing outside the House, to go that length which was necessary to give satisfaction to the country, because it was the duty of a Government to do all that was necessary to maintain public tranquillity. The Government were bound to consider

should not wait till a particular ship was | sioners had said as to load line. They overloaded, but should, in the first in- said that undoubtedly the mere freestance, tell the shipowner the point board of a ship was not a proper thing beyond which he could not safely load by which to define its safety, and furthe vessel. That was a more business- ther, that the surplus buoyancy of a like and statesmanlike proceeding than ship above water was the proper thing, that the authorities should step in just at or as near to the proper thing as could the moment when a ship was on the be got at, to define the safety of a ship. point of being sent to sea. He trusted, Thus, for the very reason that the House therefore, that Her Majesty's Govern- would have adopted the term "surplus ment would by some form of words of buoyancy," it had been avoided in the their own, in Committee carry out that Report of the Committee, who had which was really involved in the Bill. finessed with small considerations and The same argument applied to the had avoided broad ones, thereby leadquestion of soundness. The President ing the Government into the greatest of the Board of Trade could not stop a difficulties. In fact, he believed the ship on the ground of unseaworthiness Government would have drawn a much without being in a position to show better Bill without than with the Report. that she was unseaworthy. Why, then, In his opinion, the facts to which he had should not that also be done long before referred demanded that the House should the vessel was ready to proceed to sea? step somewhat out of the usual course, There might be reasons against the and should see whether they could not course he suggested, but if there were, pass a measure which would give gethey were Departmental reasons-rea- neral satisfaction. His conviction was sons arising out of the labour and that there was such a disposition on the duty the measure would throw upon the Opposition side of the House as would Board of Trade. But that was no suffi- enable the Government, if they chose, cient argument against the proposal, to pass a measure that would be gebecause the Board of Trade existed for nerally approved. The hon. Member the purpose of performing those duties, for Hull (Mr. Norwood) had given a and he believed the right hon. Gentle- Notice of an Amendment with regard to man opposite the President of the Board the load line, which the Government of Trade would be the last man to shrink would not be justified in rejecting, which from the exercise of a public duty of went to the extent that the shipowner this nature. Although he had high should be compelled to mark upon the authority for believing that the remov- side of his vessel such load line as he ing of obstructions from the Committee thought would fairly represent the carrywas not necessary in this case, yet he ing power of his ship. He believed considered it only respectful to the Go- that if the Government accepted the vernment to omit from his Instruction Amendment of his hon. Friend so that all mention of deck cargoes and the the Courts might be able to deal with stowage of grain cargoes; but he would them, in the event of any accident ocbe false to the views he had expressed, curring, there would be no serious oppoand to the support he had received, if sition to it. What had caused public he did not raise the questions of survey agitation and resentment was, the fact and load line, and he should, therefore, that shipowners should go on overloadalter his Notice in that sense. The right ing beyond all sense of decency and prohon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the priety; and what was asked for was not Exchequer had alluded to the fact that a scientific definition of a load line, but the Government were guided in the the fixing of a line beyond which it matter by the Report of the Royal Com- would be opprobrious to go. He trusted missioners on Unseaworthy Ships. For that the Government would receive in his part, he believed, and firmly be- all sincerity what had fallen from hon. lieved, that that Report lay at the root Members in Opposition as to their being of the errors which the Government had a great disposition on their part to have committed. He gave them credit for concurrent action in this matter with a having followed strictly the recommen- view to the passing of a measure which dations of the Report, but to show that would give satisfaction to the country those recommendations were wrong, he and meet the objects which all had at had only to point to what the Commis- heart,

MR. BENTINCK, in reference to the | the three Bills he had referred to, it had statement which had been made by the been assumed that the loss of life at sea was hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Plimsoll), mainly occasioned by the unseaworthiin apologizing to the House yesterday ness of the ship; whereas that was, in for the expressions he had used the pre-reality, one of the minor causes of that vious week, said, he must express his loss. The main causes of the loss of life surprise and regret that the hon. Mem- at sea were collisions, strandings, fires, ber should not, either upon that occasion shipping heavy seas, forcing quick or when he rose to speak upon this Bill, passages, bad seamanship, icebergs, and have taken the opportunity of distinctly floating wreck, none of which causes withdrawing the grave charges he had could be made subject to an Act of Parpreferred against hon. Members of that liament. There was another point which House. He understood that the hon. had to be considered in connection with Member, having preferred those charges, the enormous loss of life. He meant the had not withdrawn them. form of ships. A long ship propelled by steam would carry a large amount of cargo with comparatively a small amount of propelling power, and, therefore, she was a peculiarly profitable ship to send to sea for mercantile purposes. But that long ship when she fell in with bad weather ran an unusual risk of being lost. Scores and hundreds of vessels had gone down in stress of weather simply because they had been built out of all reasonable proportion. But was the House to be asked to deal with the form of ships? Then came the ques

MR. PLIMSOLL rose to Order. The hon. Member was discussing a subject that was not under the consideration of the House.

MR. SPEAKER ruled that the hon. Member for West Norfolk was in Order. MR. BENTINCK, continuing, said, he also regretted the fact that the hon. Member for Derby had not told them it was his intention to prosecute these charges. He (Mr. Bentinck) therefore hoped that the hon.Member for Plymouth would persevere in the course of which he had given Notice, and would move for a Com- tion of overloading. This was a question mittee, whose Report he hoped would involving great difficulties. It was, entirely exonerate the latter from the perhaps, impossible for anyone who was charges made against him by the hon. not a scientific builder to say what was Member for Derby, if they had not been the proper load line for a ship. Were already altogether refuted by the conclu- they going to leave this point to be desive statements which had been made by cided by a Board of Trade surveyor, the hon. Member for Plymouth to-day. who probably had no knowledge of the He ventured to ask leave to say a few subject whatever? And, if so, when was words with regard to this Bill, because it he to decide it-when the ship was built, appeared to him that the further the or when she was going to sea? Then, House got into the subject the greater if they dealt with the question of load were the difficulties that had to be en-line in one sense they must deal with it countered, and the more hopeless did a in the other. Hundreds of ships went settlement of the matter seem. With to sea without sufficient ballast and were respect to grain loading, for instance, he lost in consequence. Therefore, Parliawas informed that loading corn in sacks ment would have to consider the case of would very much enhance its market vessels which were not loaded enough. price. The object of the House of Com- How were they going to deal with them? mons, stimulated as it was into action by Were they going to say that a ship must the agitation now going on out-of-doors, be loaded up to a certain mark? It was to prevent loss of life at sea; but it was obvious that they must take the appeared to him that neither the original question both ways. He believed that, nor the present Bill of the Government, if statistics could be procured as to the nor the Bill of the hon. Member for number of ships lost from being overDerby, really touched the main causes of loaded and the number lost from not that loss of life. It had been said by the being sufficiently loaded, the latter highest authority that upon a careful would be found to form the majority. examination of the Wreck Register it He would not impede the progress of was a question whether any legislation the Bill, because they were bound to could have an appreciable effect in di- carry something; but he hoped the minishing the loss of life at sea. In all House would bear in mind the warning

of the noble Lord near him (Lord Esling- | discussions. There might sometimes be ton) that if the powers given were a tendency on their part-and it was a carried out in a spirit not conciliatory, natural tendency-to overrate the diffithe effect might be to destroy altogether culties, but surely it would be in the our coasting trade. He had no wish to highest degree unwise to ignore the sugdiscourage those who might be appointed gestions which came from those shipsurveyors, but he could not help thinking owners, who had practical experience in of the immense powers they would wield, the various matters which it was the and of the enormous amount of capital duty of the House to consider, and who over which they would exercise un- knew the subject best. With regard to limited control, if they were allowed on the Bill before the House, he was one of their own responsibility and judgment to those who felt that in adopting some of stop a ship from going to sea. Then as the measures which were recommended to this survey of which they had heard there was considerable danger, and did so much. A ship was to be stopped and not think that those who were desirous. was to be surveyed. Some hon. Mem- of legislating on this matter would gain bers might not be aware, however, that anything by shutting their eyes to those in order to be properly surveyed a ship dangers. The question of a load line must discharge her cargo, must be taken was one of the utmost importance, but into a dry dock, and must be stripped of was surrounded with grave difficulties. her copper, and that might mean ruin to His hon. Friend the Member for Pemthe shipowner. He hoped those to broke (Mr. E. J. Reed) had said that whom the work of inspection was en- every time a ship left port, the officials trusted would bear in mind the grave of the Board of Trade could fix a load responsibility which devolved upon them line; but an enormous fallacy underlay and that in trying to do good they would that theory. The officials might, of not really do harm in carrying out the course, tell when a ship was overloaded, duties they had to perform. These were but they could not, and did not, fix an points for the consideration of the House, exact line. The proposal that every shipand whatever was done respecting them, owner should fix his own load line was he hoped that nothing would be carried not surrounded by so many disadvanout which would damage the great mer- tages, although he did not believe that cantile interests of this country. its employment could be so regulated as to secure that saving of human life which they all desired. There was con

MR. HERSCHELL, referring to the remarks of the hon. Member for Plymouth (Mr. Sampson Lloyd) on the pre-siderable danger connected with legisceding evening, as to the number of Amendments placed on the Paper with reference to the Bill which had been withdrawn, denied that in doing so he had had any desire to obstruct the progress of the Bill. It had been said that they must give satisfaction to the country. What they ought to do, rather, was to give satisfation to their own consciences. Nothing could be more dangerous than a competition of philanthropy on this subject. It seemed to him that justice had hardly been done to the shipowners in the discussions which had taken place upon this subject. As far as he had seen, they had had no desire whatever to impede the progress of legislation, but, on the contrary, had been animated by an honest wish to make the Government measure as good as possible. He had seen none of that esprit de corps, blinding them to the vices of the present system, which had been suggested as the characteristic of these


lating on the load line, and, therefore, the subject ought to be approached in a calm and dispassionate spirit. But, at the end of the Session, there would be a disposition to accept without discussion that which, at another time, would not be accepted. Then, with regard to the compulsory survey of unclassed ships, the danger was that, while diminishing the responsibility of the shipowner, they would only lull themselves into a false security, and would not get what they wanted. At the present moment there were 6,000 unclassed ships, and he asked where were they going to get the army of Inspectors to survey them? Shipowners who were wicked enough knowingly to send out unseaworthy ships would not stop short at an attempt to bribe the surveyors who might be appointed, and he thought it would be a matter almost of impossibility to obtain so large a number of surveyors as would be required for this purpose, and to be


sure that they were all men of the neces- | boats should be provided both for pas sary knowledge, and the necessary honour sengers and crew, in case of any disaster and probity. Besides, a survey per- occurring at sea. petually carried on by the Government would be a dangerous thing. He had been engaged in a great many cases where the ship was undoubtedly unseaworthy, but where she had been surveyed and had excellent reports from persons who would be said to be competent. Therefore, let it not be supposed if we were to have a Government. survey that we should have security. But if we had the machinery, it might be well to have occasional surveys. Just as general domiciliary visits would be objectionable, while a raid into a given district or street to put down crime would be allowable, so single surveys for the purpose of weeding out unseaworthy ships might be useful. But then as to another matter, the loading of grain in bulk, that was an evil which could be ascertained without that special skill and knowledge which would be required in the matters to which he had just alluded. Here it would be seen at once that the shipowner had not done his duty, and upon that point legislation was essential, seeing that the winter was coming on, that there was likely to be an enormous influx of grain, and that, if things were left as they were, numbers of our sailors might go to the bottom. Again, in the matter of deck cargoes, there was a source of danger to which we could not shut our eyes, and shipowners themselves admitted it. There was no insuperable difficulty in dealing with that evil, and he would urge the Government to deal with it. He earnestly hoped that the House might, before the close of the Session, pass a satisfactory measure-a measure which they might be able to look upon with satisfaction as likely to result in the saving of the lives of their fellow-subjects-the saving of the lives of a body of men to whose manly courage they were so much indebted, and who united with that courage an almost childish simplicity and helplessness which urgently called for sympathy and aid.

MR. BAILLIE COCHRANE said, he only rose to offer one suggestion to the right hon. Baronet the President of the Board of Trade, that the Inspectors to be appointed, while they looked after the seaworthiness of vessels, would also take care that a sufficient number of

MR. GOSCHEN said, he thought the Chancellor of the Exchequer must feel that the indulgence he bespoke for the Government measure had been accorded to it, and that considering the gravity of its provisions and its somewhat unusual character, the House had treated the measure with impartiality and fairness. The right hon. Gentleman, as some excuse for its imperfections, spoke of its being proposed in an emergency. No doubt, the emergency existed, and he (Mr. Goschen) would not inquire into the causes which had produced it; but the indulgence he bespoke for the Bill was, what might be asked for the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act after Government had shown themselves unable properly to organize the police. This was practically a proposal to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act as regarded shipowners, and he thought the House generally would feel that the proposals of the Government Bill, stringent as they were, had been received with fairness by the shipowners. As what he stated on a former occasion had been referred to by the hon. Member for Hull (Mr. Norwood), he begged to explain that what he did say was that the Bill was not so stringent as might have been expected from the first announcement of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government. He did not give any opinion as to whether the Bill went too far or did not go far enough. Of course, it was a stringent Bill, and was only justified by the emergency in which the Government and the country found itself. The Bill must be treated from two points of view-from that which it included and from that which it excluded. The debate that day had rather been with regard to the topics which it excluded than upon the provisions which it contained. The Chancellor of the Exchequer very properly invited attention to the points which were omitted from the Bill-the regulation of grain cargoes, the regulation of deck cargoes, compulsory survey, and the question of the load line. The right hon. Gentleman assented to the discussion in Committee of deck loads and grain cargoes, but rather demurred to any discussion in Committee of the. questions of compulsory survey and load line. The House, however,

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