I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that in some of the principal shipping ports of the United Kingdom the superintendents are failing to report to the Board of Trade cases where seamen fail to join their vessels after signing the articles of agreement; and whether he will issue instructions to the superintendents requesting them to report all such cases of failures to join to the Registrar-General, in order that the certificates of such seamen may be dealt with in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act of 1906.
The Board of Trade are not aware that superintendents are omitting to report cases where it is shown to their satisfaction that a seaman has wilfully or through misconduct failed to join his ship. In order, however, to remove any possible misconception of the requirements of the section, further instructions will be issued to superintendents in regard to the matter.
Is it not the fact the Merchant Shipping Act provides that the superintendent shall report all cases?
Yes, that is so.