§ Mr. C. DUNCAN
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that British stewards and cooks who had been working on the steamship "Boveric" for 1852W one month, between 22nd February and 23rd March, at Cardiff and Penarth, were removed on the latter date and their places taken by Chinese by the order of the Admiralty; that one of the men discharged was an ex-soldier, twice wounded; and that the action taken nearly resulted in a stoppage of work at Cardiff and Penarth, which stoppage was only avoided by the efforts of the trade union officials; and whether he will give a guarantee that in future the Admiralty will adhere to the clause in the existing agreement that Chinese crews are not to be signed on in Home ports unless a satisfactory crew of British seamen and firemen are not available in reasonable time?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The owners of the "Boveric" discharged the cooks and stewards because it became necessary, in the absence of a British crew, to engage Chinese seamen and firemen, which engagement was effected by the owners with the concurrence of the National Sailors' and Firemen's Union and of the Admiralty. No information has reached the Admiralty regarding a probable stoppage of work on this account. I should add that prior to the 22nd February this vessel carried a Chinese crew; and, further, that the signing on in the present instance was in strict accord with the Admiralty memorandum regarding the employment of Chinese.