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Mercantile Marine Services

Volume 320: debated on Monday 22 February 1937

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Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £10, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1937, for the Salaries and Expenses of certain Services transferred from the Mercantile Marine Fund and other Services connected with the Mercantile Marine, including Services under the British Shipping (Assistance) Act, 1935, the Coastguard, General Register and Record Office of Shipping and Seamen, and Merchant Seamen's Fund Pensions."

10.8 p.m.

Under sub-head C.2 of this Vote there is a reference to

"increased expenditure on travelling necessitated by increased activity in shipping and shipbuilding and the more intensive supervision of shipping "
Some time ago the Parliamentary Secretary gave an assurance that the surveyors would show increased activity and that more surveyors would be appointed. Is it possible for the hon. Gentleman to amplify what appears in this Supplementary Estimate?

Apart from the extra work arising from the revival of shipbuilding helped by the shipping replacement scheme, increased work beyond what was anticipated when the original Estimate was framed has arisen from the wreck inquiries and from the need for a more stringent survey of cargo ships from the point of view of seaworthiness. There was the loss of three ships laden with coal, which meant that increased attention had to be given to the loading of coal-carrying ships. Then we have had the Sea Fish Commission. The President of the Board of Trade has announced that the Government have accepted the recommendation of that Commission in regard to the survey of fishing vessels, and a definite start in the work by increasing the marine survey staff of the Board of Trade has already been made. To the question asked by the hon. Gentleman the answer is in the affirmative.

Question put, and agreed to.