§ SIR EDWARD GOURLEY (Sunderland)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, if he will be good enough to inform the House how and in 1681 what respect the existing regulations for the examination of masters and mates in the mercantile marine are to be modified after the 1st January 1898; will he state what is meant by the words "by the addition, largely of new matter," contained in the circular of the Marine Department, No. 539, and dated February 1896; and, will he say what percentage of applicants fail annually under the current system in the United Kingdom?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OE TRADE (Mr. C. T. RITCHIE,) Croydon
I fear it is not possible for me within the limits of an answer in this House to explain every point in which the new regulations for the examination of masters and mates will differ from the old, but the general effect of the alterations (which, I may say, have met with wide approval) will be to somewhat raise the standard of the examinations and to improve the method of conducting them The words on the cover of the Circular to which the hon. Member refers mean that the main changes made are embodied in paragraphs 1 to 18, and that those made in the other paragraphs are indicated by italics. The average percentage of failures yearly under the current system during the last three years has been 50.