§ MR. ALFRED THOMAS (Glamorgan, E.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, whether it is true that ships under foreign flags loading at British ports enjoy immunity from the loading, manning, and other regulations of the Board of Trade, and through this immunity a foreign ship is placed in a better position to earn freight than a British ship of the same size and class; and, whether the Board of Trade will take the necessary steps to bring British and foreign tonnage loading in our ports 1225 under equal laws and regulations, so that the object of Parliament to save life and property at sea may be more fully realised?
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. C. T. RITCHIE,) Croydon
The power of detaining an overladen or improperly laden ship in a port of the United Kingdon extends to foreign as well as to British ships, and the power to require efficient manning with regard to emigrant ships applies to British and foreign ships. I think, therefore, that it cannot be said that foreign ships enjoy immunity in our ports, although, of course, many statutory requirements (such as those involving marking) only apply to our own vessels.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
Is there any power of inspection exercised over foreign ships in our ports?
§ SIR ARTHUR FORWOOD (Lancashire, Ormskirk)
asked whether it was the fact that the Board of Trade could exercise the same supervision over foreign ships as to the extent and quantity of cargo they carried?
§ *MR. RITCHIE
We can exercise the same care with regard to overloading foreign ships that take in cargo at any of our ports, but we have no power with regard to marking the load line of foreign ships.
MR. JAMES LOWTHER (Kent, Thanet)
Have the Board of Trade power of supervision with regard to manning?
§ *MR. RITCHIE
The only ships with regard to which the Board of Trade have any powers in respect to manning are emigrant ships.
§ SIR A. FORWOOD
I would ask the right hon. Gentleman, as he says the Board of Trade cannot mark the load line of a foreign ship, whether they have the same means of ascertaining what a foreign ship ought to carry as they have in respect to a British ship?