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Merchant Shipping Act, 1871— Unseaworthy Vessels

Volume 217: debated on Monday 14 July 1873

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Questions

asked the President of the Board of Trade, If his attention has been called to a Report made by Mr. W. H. Neath, Principal Surveyor of the Board of Trade for South Wales, on the condition of the ship "Nora," which left Cardiff a few days ago for Lisbon "loaded" as the Surveyor remarks, "almost to her hatches," and in such a rotten condition that she has been declared to be unseaworthy; if the Board of Trade have power under the Merchant Shipping Act of 1871 to prevent ships proceeding to sea in the state the "Nora" is reported to have been in; and, if power to stop ships in this condition is not given by the Act of 1871, he intends to ask Parliament for such power during the present Session?

in reply, said, that his attention had been called to the case of the ship Nora, and what had happened was this—she had not proceeded to sea; on the contrary, the principal Surveyor of the Board of Trade for South Wales had made a formal complaint with respect to this vessel under the Act of 1871, and she had been detained for the purpose of survey. If it should prove that she was in au unsound state as to her construction, and therefore unfit to proceed to sea, he should be glad to stop her. If she were not unsound, but only overloaded, there was no power given to the Board of Trade by the Act of 1871 to stop her, although her crew might refuse to proceed to sea in her, without exposing themselves to any liability. That power, not given by the Act of 1871, would be given by the Bill which he had introduced into that House, and which he intended to proceed with as soon as possible.

asked whether the ship had not left Cardiff and got out into the roads before she was stopped or deserted by her crew?