asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether it is a fact that his Department detained the "Parga" and the "Western Ocean" for survey as unseaworthy ships, and that they were both afterwards released, and compensation paid to the owners for detention; and, whether he has heard that both ships have since disappeared, with their entire crews, and, if so, what steps will be taken to obtain from the owners repayment of the compensation so paid?
Sir, the Board of Trade did detain the Parga and the Western Ocean for survey as unseaworthy ships. The Parga was released, on appeal by the owner, from the Board of Trade by order of the City of London Court, on the report of three surveyors appointed by that Court, not Board of Trade Surveyors. The Western Ocean was released by the Board of Trade on report from their own surveyor that so far as he could see, without having the vessel opened out, she was in fair condition and fit to proceed to sea on her voyage. Compensation was paid for the Parga of £1,250. The Western Ocean claimed £2,500, and accepted £600. The Board of Trade have since received a report from Lloyd's that both vessels have disappeared, with all hands—may be by collision—but the cause not known. It was the intention of the Board to institute inquiries as to the possibility of recovering back the sums which had been paid to the owners as compensation.