§ 87. Mr. Benjamin Smith
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the steamship "Nordeflinge" on her voyage from Workington to Cardiff, in January, was delayed by bad weather; that, in consequence, the officers and crew were for two days dependent upon emergency rations carried in the lifeboats, and that the members of the crew complained to the Board of Trade regarding the inadequacy of these rations; what reply was made by the Department; and whether, having regard to the risk of bad weather during the winter months, steps will be taken to see that adequate supplies of provisions are carried on all vessels to meet emergencies?
§ Captain Euan Wallace (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)
I understand that owing to bad weather the voyage to which the hon. Member refers took nine to ten days instead of the usual two days, and that notwithstanding the steps taken to replenish certain items in the 593 provision scale there was a shortage of certain provisions on the last two days of the voyage. The crew's complaints were investigated by the Board's superintendent at Cardiff and the compensation which he awarded to them was paid by the master. With regard to the last part of the question, my right hon. Friend has no reason to think that it is not the practice of masters to take all reasonable precautions against a possible shortage of provisions.
§ Captain Wallace
In the light of the answer I have given, will the hon. Member not see that this is a very exceptional case?