asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the desires of the shipping industry of this country for the early ratification of the Maritime Conventions relating to the load line, the limitation of liability, maritime mortgages, and liens and immunity; and whether it is intended to introduce legislation for this purpose other than that for the ratification of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention referred to in the gracious Speech?
Yes, Sir. Legislation to give effect to the Conventions relative to the Load Line, the Limitation of Shipowners' Liability, and Maritime Mortgages and Liens will be introduced as soon as possible. The Immunity of State-owned Ships Convention requires before legislation can be undertaken a supplementary agreement which has not yet been signed by the Powers concerned.
Would it not be convenient if all these Conventions, which are now ready for ratification, were included in a single Bill?
No, Sir. I have considered that point, but, as regards several of them, as the right hon. Gentleman is no doubt aware, there is still a certain amount of ground to be covered, and I am now quite satisfied that it would be better to proceed in the order laid down by the Government.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say if the alteration in helm orders will come into these ratifications?
No, Sir. That point is covered by the Safety of Life at Sea. Convention, which was included in the Speech from the Throne and which will be taken in another place at a very early date.