§ 80. Sir HAROLD ELVERSTON
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that 300 to 400 men working in the shipyards on the Tyne are daily crossing the river at Felling in rowing skiffs; that owing to the hurry of the men to cross and to the inadequate accommodation, these boats are often overcrowded to such an extent as to endanger their safety; that on a recent occasion, owing to the swell caused by a passing steamer, a number of men actually fell into the water, and life would have been lost if they had been unable to swim; and whether, in view of the fact that many of the men are working at the naval yard, and the Felling Urban District Council, whilst having no power to spend moneys in the provision of a proper ferry boat, has arranged for suitable landing places, the Admiralty will provide this service, and so save a serious loss of time and avoid the risk of loss of life?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
A letter setting forth the facts as mentioned by my hon. Friend has been recently received by the Admiralty. We have viewed this matter sympathetically, and have been endeavouring for some time to induce the firms who are mainly concerned to assist in providing and maintaining an adequate ferry service for their employés. At the moment a boat, which it is hoped will be suitable for the purpose, has been inspected, but there are still some difficulties to be overcome. Matters are being pressed forward as rapidly as possible, and I hope that shortly a ferry service will be in operation.