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Steamship "Theems" (Collision)

Volume 319: debated on Tuesday 2 February 1937

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will give particulars of the number of officers and crew employed on the steamship "Theems" at the time of her collision with the French steam trawler "Notre Dame de Lourdes," on 10th January; the nature of the certificates held by the officers; whether, at the time of the casualty, there was any man on the bridge besides the boatswain; what certificate is held by the boatswain; and whether it is his intention to order a formal investigation in this case?

Inquiries into the circumstances in which this collision occurred have not yet been completed and it is not possible, therefore, at present to supply the whole of the information asked for, or to say whether a formal investigation will be held. I am informed, however, that the steamship "Theems" carried a crew of ten, and that the only certificated officer on board was the master, who is the holder of a home trade certificate as mate.

In the light of that reply, will the hon. Gentleman consider recommending the Government to change the point of view enunciated on their behalf at Geneva and to see that only certificated officers are in charge of ships whether coastwise or otherwise?

I think that is a very different question and if the hon. Member desires an answer to it, perhaps he will put it on the Paper.