asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been drawn to the following statement:—That the ship "Wimbledon" was loaded at Cardiff on the 8th January 1873, and that on that day twelve men were committed by the magistrates for ten weeks' hard labour for refusing to go to sea in the vessel; that on the 24th of January five men of a new crew of the same ship were charged before the magistrates for refusing to go to sea, on the ground that the vessel was not seaworthy; that these were sentenced to ten weeks' hard labour; that on the 25th ten more of the crew refused to sail in the said ship; of these, seven were persuaded by the magistrates to go, and three were sentenced to ten weeks' hard labour; that on the 27th of January five of the men wore again brought up for refusal, and were remanded to the 29th, 993 that a further survey should be made; that, on their appearing on remand, the official record is, "No prosecutor appeared, and the men were discharged:" If there be any compensation for the men who have been thus imprisoned; and, if it is a fact that this vessel, twenty-five of whose crew have been thus imprisoned, is marked with a black mark in "Lloyd's Register," as unfit to be placed in any class?
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in reference to Mr. Gilpin's question, If he could state to the House whether, when the Cardiff magistrates discharged from custody the five men brought before them on the 27th of January, and remanded until the 29th, charged for refusing to go to sea in the "Wimbledon," because no prosecutor appeared, they (the magistrates) took any steps to procure a remission of the sentences upon the twelve men committed on the 24th of January, and the three men committed on the 25th, on the same charge?
in reply, said, that the Question of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Northampton (Mr. Gilpin) and also that of which Notice had been given by the hon. Member for Leeds (Mr. Carter) would be best answered by reading a succinct statement of one of the magistrates on the subject, from which it appeared that on the 8th of January, 1873, while the ship was in harbour, a portion of the crew, without giving notice to the master, refused to go further with the ship. They stated that the meat supplied to them on board was bad and deficient. They returned on the following day. The Court directed a survey to be made, and the meat was ascertained to be good and wholesome. The defendants still refused to proceed with the ship, and the Court sentenced them to imprisonment. On the 23rd of January five other men of the crew were charged with the same offence. On the 16th of January the ship left Cardiff, and had got as far as Lundy Island, when she met with bad weather, and was anchored in the Roads on the 20th. On the 20th some of the crew refused to proceed further with the ship, alleging that she was unseaworthy. A survey was made of the ship under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1871, and on the 24th a Report was made to the Board of Trade that the 994 ship was not unseaworthy, and that the defendants were therefore not justified in their refusal. On the 25th of January, ten other men, part of the crew, were charged with refusing to proceed to sea on the ground that the ship was unseaworthy. The case against these men was adjourned till the 29th of January, on which day the master did not appear and the charge was dismissed, the owners, to avoid the expense, having engaged another crew at Liverpool. The magistrates did not think, however, that because the captain did not appear against the men on the 29th, the ship must have been unseaworthy. They believed that the owners, smarting under the heavy expenses caused by the detention of the vessel, determined to abandon the prosecution and let the ship get away. The magistrates had taken no steps to procure a revision of the sentences which had been passed on the men who had been previously brought before them; and they did not think such a course would be reasonable or expedient. He (Mr. Bruce) had in his hand the Report of the Inspector, which entered into details; but the substance of it was this—On the whole, he regarded the ship as being strongly built and well-found in every respect. His hon. Friend the Member for Northampton asked whether this ship had not been put on the Black List at Lloyd's. The ship was built in 1864 as an A 1 ship; but at the end of eight years, a fresh examination was necessary, in order to ascertain whether she should be continued on the Register. She was examined at Liverpool, and certain alterations were reported to be necessary by Lloyds' in order to re-instate her. The owners refused to make those alterations, and proposed such alterations as they deemed proper. They were therefore unable to continue her on the Register at Lloyd's.