SIR GILBERT PARKER
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury if he will explain why there was but one baggage crew in attendance for three passenger ships with 140 passengers on Sunday, the 9th instant, at Tilbury Dock, while officers on river duty at Gravesend were obliged to attend to passengers in Tilbury Dock, thereby leaving the river unprotected during their absence.
§ MR. J. A. PEASE
I am informed that the three vessels referred to were berthed at 8.15 a.m., 1.55 p.m., and 3.48 p.m., respectively. The first was dealt with by the station staff, the second by the same staff supplemented by a crew for whose attendance arrangements had previously been made, and these staffs also dealt with the third vessel. It is not the case that the river was left unprotected as stated in the last part of the Question. I may add that the standing directions on the subject of Sunday attendance, made in the interests of economy and of the staff, are that great care is to be taken that no more officers are called out for duty than are absolutely necessary. The Board of Customs inform me that they are satisfied that the staff provided on the occasions in question was adequate for both classes of duty.