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1724. And, therefore, it is supposed to be unintlam- 1710. I asked you the question about this list first of T. H. Ismay. mable ?--If you may use the terms inflammable, all, to show you that I do not think we can take this
uninflammable, oil. At any rate not easily flashing. withont examination as a very safe guide, and there8 June 1894. 1723. Then you think on the whole that burning a
lore I do not want you to answer from this publication, derelict would be easier than blowing her up? - I
but to answer my question, which is a goneral one: would leave that to be guided by the conditions under
Would you not expect, that if a large number of which they found that derelict, because all we want to
vessels are lost, you would find a very much larger do is to dispose of the derelict.
number damaged R—The number that has been damaged
seriously is not so great as one would have expected. 1726. If you leave it to the discretion of the
I do not know whether that is an answer to your commander of the vessel he must have, not only
question. inflammable oil but also dynamite on board P-I do not know that I have really thought it out as to what 1741. Not quite. Will you kindly put it to me in was the best means, but it seemed to me that fire such a way as I could answer it. My own feeling is would be best, and, failing fire, to fire shots into her to that we ought to have a larger number of seriously try and sink her.
damaged vessels through collisions with derelicts 17:27. You know that dynamite is not usually carried
than we have had, if we are to attribute those dison board ordinary ships P--No.
appearances to derelicts. 1728. It is not allowed to be ?-It is not allowed to be. 1742. That is all that I want ?-I want tú get it in
1729. (Captain Wharton.) As far as I understand, an intelligible shape from my point of view. your case rests upon, firstly, the large number of
1743. Then in fact any assumption that a large vessels reported in the United States' reports as being proportion of missing vessels are lost by derelicts is not on the Atlantic?_Yes.
very directly justified by what evidence we have?-No, 1730. Secondly, that there is very great danger if a there may be other causes of loss, by fire for instance. vessel strikes a derelict P-Yes.
The natural feeling is first that you may combat the
fire, or that you may get over a collision with another 1731. Those are the two great points. Have you at
ship, that either the one or the other floats, and that all analysed this list to examine it closely and check it the one that floats rescues the crew, or tells what has at all in this way?-I have not checked it; I have become of them. But when it entirely disappears it is accepted it.
natural to suppose that it may have arisen from some
derelict rather than from some known cause.
1744. Then you think there is justification for 1733. Will you admit that the most important fact
assuming that the derelicts are to have the first place
in those unknown losses ?-I would go so far as to say that can be brunght to the notice of this Committee is not, perhaps, so much the number of derelicts afloat, that there is a justification for assuming that derelicts but the number of collisions?_Yes.
are answerable for a proportion of those losses; I should
not say the whole of them, but a proportion of them. 1734. There are given a list of nine vessels totally I know of an owner who lost a very fine ship; she lost, and there is one in the Appendix. Now of those was never heard of, and he concluded it must have been 10 vessels, investigation shows that two were lost upon by fire, because she had been spoken out of the region rocks upon the coast: the Spanish gun-boat “ Paz,' of derelicts, and it was not in the ice region. and the steamship. “Cragside.” There is not the least shadow of a doubt that both the “ Paz" and the
1745. Yon doubtless realise the vast size of the Cragside "struck a rock, the latter on the coast of Nova
Atlantic. Can you also realise what an extremely Scotia. That disposes of two of them. One vessel is
small proportion of it these average number of deregiven as striking a derelict that was lost on the sunken
licts that are supposed to exist, occupy ?–I can realise
that. Five Fathoms Light Ship. That is not a derelict. Two vessels are given as striking a derelict off Fenwick 1746. Then I do not quite understand how one vessel Island, wbich is on the Cnited States coast, and is a that
you have suggested to search for derelicts is to do large flat of shallow water, and a very small obstruction very much good ?- Except that she goes out for a on the bottom brings a vessel up, and there are a great purpose. She goes out to seek and to find, and she many wrecks there, so that those two can be scarcely goes out with all the information, and knows if a derelict caused by derelicts. I put it to you, before basing is reported in a certain position. Of course that anything upon this report, is it not our duty to con- position will be materially changed by the time that sider it rather closely ; do not you agree with me?- that vessel can reach that particular place where Quite. Of course I have not gone into it from that it was reported, but I think that the currents are pretty point of view; I have accepted it broadly.
well known. 1735. Would you think it proper in a list of reported 1747. I wish they were ?–There is a general drift of derelicts to insert vessels that have never been heard of the Gulf Stream in a certain way. These derelicts, as since they sailed from port |---Certainly not.
they are marked in these charts seem to travel a certain
That is, of course, influenced again by wind 1736. As a matter of fact there are 28 included in the
or other causes. United States' list ?—They ought not to be included, of course; they are not derelicts, unless they are seen, 1748. Your opinion is merely an opinion ?--That is and seen afloat; they may have disappeared from all. various causes.
1749. If we have some facts that sbow how difficult 1737. Is it your experience that most of the
present it is to find derelicts, would not that be more valuable feeling about these derelicts is based upon the reports than any opinion P—I should like to know from whom from the United States Hydrographer P-I think a great
those facts come. deal of it has come from there first.
1750. We have it in evidence that the Trinity House 1738. I must refer to your opinion expressed that search for a very large number of derelicts near the derelicts are more dangerous than ice. We have had coast every year.
Their information is necessarily of it from several of the experienced captains, who have late date, because they only search for vessels nearest been examined and asked the question, that their to the coast. Their vessels start out at once. In a opinion is that there is no comparison between the danger very large proportion of those cases they fail to find from derelicts and that from ice; that danger from ice the ship even when she is reported close to the shore. is by far the most dangerous. Would you pit your
We have also the fact that Her Majesty's ships are sent opinion as a landsman against those experienced sea- out from time to time to search for derelicts that seem men?-Certainly not.
to be in a peculiarly dangerous position at the entrance 1739. You assumed in your remarks that if a vessel
to the English Channel, and they have never yet found
them. strikes a derelict the results will probably be serious.
Do not you think that the chance of finding
derelicts in the Mid Atlantic would be infinitely less Will you agree that in the known cases that exist, to
than those I have mentioned P-No, for this reason, the which we have access, of collisions with derelicts, that
derelicts around our coast are few and far between, as you would expect to find a large number that had suffered considerable damage in order to justify you
compared with those on the North Atlantic. in assuming that many vessels had been lost or 1751. Are yo'ı speaking, may I ask, by the book, or course there is a list of those in the United States by your imagination R-Simply by my impression of returns of those damaged considerably.
what I have read.
Mr. JOSEPH EDWARD STREET called and examined.
J. E. Street. 1755. (Chairman.) You are Deputy Chairman of Lloyd's, navigation. There has not been any general agitation I believe P-Yes.
in the Room among underwriters, to my knowledge. 1756. Can you give us any information with regard to
1769. (Mr. Trevor.) May we consider that, in your the insurance of vessels P-In what way?
opinion the danger from derelicts is an ordinary peril 1757. What we wanted to ask was, whether in fixing of the sea P_Yes, I should say it is. your rates of insurance you add anything on account of
1770. Not an extraordinary peril of the sea P-I could the dangers that are incurred from derelicts, or whether
not call it an extraordinary peril. it is calculated generally in the insurance P_I cannot say definite premium is charged for the risk of 1771. And if Colonel Hozier, the Secretary of Lloyd's, derelicts, but undoubtedly the risk of collision there. has told us that, in his opinion, although he admitted with is taken into account in the ordinary premium. that he knew very little about it, derelicts were an 1758. In the ordinary premium. You do not look on
extraordinary peril of the sea, he was mistaken -In that as a greater danger than the danger that arises
certain voyages from British America down to the West from a collision with something that is not a derelict P
Indies, I should say they are more or less an extraIn certain cases I should. If a steel or iron steamer
ordinary peril, because one expects to meet with many
of them came into violent collision with one of these waterlogged derelicts, I should think it would be very 1772. Notwithstanding in that particular region it is dangerous to her life. As an underwriter I should have an extraordinary peril, you make no difference in your thought so.
rate ?-No; I cannot say that there is an actual 1759. We have absolutely nothing to go npon in the
difference of rates charged for that risk. way of experience; is that so ? That is quite true. If
1773. That is the main point ?--It is included in the we could trace some of the missing vessels I should put general risk. their disappearance down to collision with derelicts in all probability
1774. It is included in the general risk of the peril.
Therefore I thiuk we may take your evidence, knowing 1760. As far as any experience we have got shows the
all about it as you do, to be of more value than Colonel result of collision with anything at all, even ice, it is
Hozier's, who admitted that he did not know about it? that it does not crush the ship beyond the bulkhead.
-It is not for me to say. I do not know why a collision with a derelict should be more dangerous than a collision with an ordinary ship, 1775. In fact I think we may tell you that it was only especially as the striking must be done by the stem, on account of Colonel Hozier's evidence that we ventured which is the hardest P-And the derelict is more or less to invite you to come here P-May I hear what Colonel low in the water.
Hozier said ? 1761. She is low in the water P_Quite so.
1776–1782. The questions which Colonel Hozier was 1762. (Mr. Trevor.) And of course not travelling fast ?
asked, with his replies are as follows (Q. 1459-1465): -No.
“ Are there any special dangers which under
writers insure against in marine assurance”? I do 1763. (Chairman.) Your answers to the questions not think so; but as I am not an underwriter I am seem to indicate that you do not consider that a very afraid I cannot answer those questions. special danger ?–I cannot say that there is any distinct
“When I say underwriters, I mean members of additional premium charged for that risk.
Lloyd's; then you cannot tell us whether the danger 1764. Is there for ice ?-At certain seasons of the of derelicts is a substantial item in an insurance Pyear when ice is known to be in the Atlantic, the I fancy it is. Oh, yes, I think they may be. premium on an Atlantic risk probably would be rather “ By name-is it named in the insurance policy ? higher.
-Not named, I do not think. I could get you the 1765. I may assume that your rates of premium have
• The Committee would be very glad of that; not altered in consequence of the scare, I think I may call it, which has been got up with the apparently
now, for instance, is ice specially mentioned P-No.
It is considered as an ordinary peril of the sea ? recent publication of the United States Hydrographer's
-Yes. charts ?–I cannot say that there has been any alteration in the rates.
“But you think that derelicts is an extraordinary
peril of the sea - I think that it is.
that ice is more dangerous than derelicts, but yet 1767. Supposing the derelicts to be removed it would now you tell us that ice is not specially insured not alter the rates very much, would it ?-Anything against, and that the danger from derelicts is ? which tends to reduce the risks of navigation also tends No, because the danger from ice has always existed, to reduce the premium ; so that it would act beneficially
while derelicts are things of later days; or rather, to the underwriter and the public in that way.
attention has been drawn to them in later days." 1768. Has there been any strong feeling on this subject
1783. Our point was this; we wanted to know of derelicts P-This Bill, which is promoted by Mr.
whether, in the opinion of underwriters, derelicts were Macdona, was laid before the Committee, and I certainly considered so dangerous that it was an extraordinary may say that they are anxious to see it passed, because risk, and you tell us it is not P-No, I must confirm they think that it would tend to reduce the risks of that.
The witness withdrew.
MR. D. G. WILLIAMS called and examined.
Mr. D. G.
1784. (Chairman.) I think you are the Collector of what happens ?-Yes; under section 50 of the Customs Customs at Liverpool, are you not P-Yes.
Consolidation Act they are obliged to put in a report
within 24 hours of arrival, and in that report they must 1785. We have not got it very clearly before us as to what is the procedure followed by captains of vessels on
also say whether they have fallen in with, or picked up, arrival at the ports in England ; can yon give us exactly any wreck.
Mr. D. G.
8 June 1894.
1786. With what object is that asked P--I am not 1802. Are you prepared with any suggestions P-My quite clear with what object; the Act says distinctly suggestion is this: – That when a captain reports that they must give that information.
having fallen in with a wreck, that he should be rele1787. (Mr. Trevor.) Whether they are asked or not?
gated to the Receiver of Wreck, who is also often in the - Whether they are asked or not; it is part of the
small ports the chief officer of the port. In my port I report. Probably you have a copy of the report by you :
have a special Receiver of Wreck-I am nominally the the words are given in the Schedule to the Act,
Receiver of Wreck, and one of our chief clerks is “ if any wreck be fallen in with or picked up.”
deputy receiver. I propose when the captain reports
having met with a derelict that he should go to the 1788. That was possibly put in with a view to
Receiver of Wreck, and make a statement localising endeavouring to ascertain the ownership of it P—I do
that derelict as far as possible, giving the latitude and not know, but we have that power to glean the informa
longitude, and the kind of ship which is floating. tion under the Act, and you will find that that schedule was quoted in section 50, and I think our power comes
1803. You draw the line between a casualty and rather more within that section than section 53, which
sighting P--I am speaking now of derelicts. your secretary brought under my notice,
1804. But then there must be a casualty resulting from 1789. (Chairman.) Is every captain provided with this that, before you go to the Receiver of Wreck, there form -Yes, that is the form of the report with which
must be damage done to the ship ?-I think not, the he should come provided.
mere fact of falling in with the derelict means that
there has been some damage to the same ship, that she 1790. These are supplied to every captain P-Yes, I
is abandoned, and I think we have power to call for have one here; whether it is on the report or not he is
evidence with regard to any ship abandoned. Moreasked this question, whether he has “fallen in with or
over, I do not think there would be any difficulty in picked up any wreck.” There is an instance (pointing getting the evidence from captains. “Whenever any to the form).
* such logs, abandonment, damage, or casualty happens 1791. Do you think that the captain quite under- “ elsewhere,” those are the words under which we have stands that that means derelicts P-Yes.
power to take evidence. 1792. A vessel floating bottom upwards ---Yes.
1805-6. Quite, but we rather want to be quite sure of 1793. The captain himself delivers this form P
a vessel that bas been seen |_ The captain reports that Always.
he has seen a vessel ; that is the initial proceeding. '16 1794. Whom does he see P--He sees the special clerk,
1807: (Mr. Trevor.) In section 50, he is bound to called the report clerk, and in the small ports he would
include the statement in his report, that he bas seen a
derelict P_Quite so.
1808. Is he bound P-He is bound,
1809. Under a penalty P-Yes, under a penalty of
1810. Is it a fact that derelicts are reported in that the fact that we have the power to glean the informa- way, or does a master wait for a question to be put to tion; I think the Act is perfectly clear that the captain
him as mentioned in section 53 P-As a matter of fact must report where he has fallen in with any wreck or it is one of the questions which is always asked. picked it up. I should like also to explain what I 1811. In the printed form P-In the printed form, and believe to be the present practice with regard to those by the officer in charge of that particular seat. reports which we receive, and then I should like to
1812. And your experience is that those questions are make a suggestion on what I shculd do in the future.
asked nearly always P-Certainly. 1796. You had better follow up my first question
1813. Because we have it in evidence from the e: actly as to what takes place ? When a captain
Secretary of the Ship Masters' Society, that in the rep rts having fallen in with a wreck of this kind,
ordinary way in going into the port the captain is not wha has happened in the past is that it is endorsed
asked any questions except possibly in the case of in that report (indicating one) as well as on two
collision ?-I have no hesitation in saying that he is or three of those reports (indicating others). I am
1814. (Chairman.) Then you think that the present to Lloyd's agent. The captain is asked “ Have you
procedure can be improved P-As regards the informa“ mentioned this to Lloyd's, or given information to tion, we get it now; but I want to corner it when we Lloyd's," and if he says “Yes," nothing more is
have got it. When the captain reports having seen a done. We have in Liverpool an agent of Lloyd's
derelict, I think we should take some more substantial stationed in the Custom House, he has a seat there. statement than we have now, on a form similar to, The captain is asked “ Have you seen Lloyd's agent ?" Wr. 1, which is a wreck form. It might be done on If he says that he has, that is all the notice we take of that; or we might have a special form for reporting it. In other places we have sent on reports to the
derelicts in which we might state that the captain's Board of Trade, but I cannot learn that there is a latitude and longitude was so and so; that he saw a general practice of reporting those things to the Board derelict, and the kind of derelict; whether she had got of Trade.
her masts up or down, and which way she was drifting.
All that would be sent as an ordinary statement to the 1797. But still there is statutory power to compel the
Board of Trade ; and not to an irresponsible body as captain to supply the information -Undoubtedly ; given the fact that he has fallen in with a wreck, which
far as the Government is concerned like Lloyd's. We
should send it to an official department.
1815. What I want to come at now is this; supposing under the Merchant Shipping Act to summon the you have got this information, what do you do with it ? captain to give evidence as to the wreck.
What would the Board of Trade do with it ? 1798. You go under another Act P-In the same way
1816. No, the Customs, the man comes and deposits that he attends to report any casualties to his own
his form P-I am afraid we do nothing beyond asking ship.
whether Lloyd's is informed; I am suggesting that we
should in future send it to the Board of Trade. 1799. Where does the Receiver of Wreck come in ?Supposing the case of a casualty to his own ship, he is 1817. You propose that the fact of a derelict having asked questions as to the voyage, and he says, for in- been sighted, or ice having been sighted should be restance, “ I lost a main topmast,” we then say “All ported with the least possible delay to the proper
right; will you proceed to the Receiver of "Wreck, quarters P_That is what I am suggesting. I think it “ and he will take a statement from you,” and that is should be at the Board of Trade the next morning. That sent to the Board of Trade with all the particulars of is always supposing that the Board of Trade would care the casualty.
for the information, I think that we should be prepared 1800. But the question of derelicts, and the reporting
to supply it. of derelicts from the danger to navigation point of 1818. (Mr. Trevor.) And you say it is not supplied view, does not seem to be considered ? No, not by you to Lloyd's now P-No, not by us excepting hitherto.
verbally. 1801. You have no doubt had this subject before you 1819. Does Lloyd's agent come into the Custom House lately ?--I have had it since I was asked to come here, and glean information at every port ?— Yes, in the and I have thought the matter over.
Mr. D. G.
8 June 1894.
1820. (Chairman.) It is possible by that means the information is circulated very rapidly P-I do not know how far the Board of Trade would care to have this information, but what I suggest is that it is possible to send it there, and we should be prepared to assist in this respect.
1821. Can you suggest any quicker method of circulating the information ?- That is absolutely quickness itself. The Board of Trade gets this information ; their powers are very great; and, as far as my experience goes, their system is very admirable in dealing with wrecks altogether.
1822. Given that the “ Majestic,” for instance, arrives at Liverpool at 10 o'clock in the morning, and she has passed ice, or she has passed a derelict, by the method you suggest, so far as I understand it, that information would not be in the possession of the Board of Trade for probably 24 hours P—I do not think that it could be quicker than that.
1823. Well, by Lloyd's agent, as at present established, that information is probably posted in the rooms, wherever they may be, within an hour 2-By wire.
1824. No, at Liverpool P-Yes. 1825. (Mr. Trevor.) Would it not be telegraphed from Liverpool to London and probably appear in the “Shipping Gazette and Lloyd's List
on the very same day R-But my suggestion is apropos of dealing with the derelict itself.
1826. (Chairman.) We do not care about the derelict itself at present ?- My suggestion is not so much with regard to giving information to avoid derelicts as to dealing with derelicts themselves. My suggestion as to localising the derelict is this : Supposing two or three captains to give you the information that a derelict has been seen in a certain latitate and longitade, that localises the derelict and gives you a better opportunity of dealing with it than an ordinary verbal statement. I happen to have here, I believe, two ships reporting the same derelict.
1827. (Mr. Trevor.) On the same day P-I think at two different ports. But what I was going to observe is that if the business were centred in the Board of Trade, they would obtain from captains arriving at every port information in cases where they bad seen a derelict.
1828. (Chairman.) There are two objects in view, the one you have mentioned as to the finding her, and the other is informing everybody as widely as possible P—I do not know that we can improve upon Lloyd's agents in the way in which they circulate their information, which is very rapidly done indeed. They have got men all over, looking out and meeting vessels which arrive.
1829. But there is no reason why the Government should not have that information. Lloyd's can get the information because they take a great deal of trouble ? -Yes, because they take a great deal of trouble.
1830. (Mr. Trevor.) Many of them have a pecuniary interest in the matter P-Yes. But our information is also rapidly acquired. The Board of Trade, for statements which are sent to them by the officers of Customs, in order to obtain their statements as quickly as possible, have given a small fee for each statement which is sent forward, so that the officers are rather keen in obtain. ing the statement rapidly, and it is an incentive to quickly dealing with this information. For instance, for a statement made within so many hours the officer is allowed a certain fee, for 12 hours, and 18 hours, and 24 hours, I think; the fee is increased according to the rapidity with which the statement is despatched.
1831. (Chairman.) It occurs to me that this report, which refers principally to cargo, has, as a sort of after-thought, one little line asking for wreck informa
think that that had better be separate in future – Have a special report, do you mean ?
1832. Would that be possible P-I think my suggestion means that. When the captain says that he has met with wreck, we send up a special report to the Board of Trade as a separate statement.
1833. But this all goes up with the cargo. If the captain on arrival has a form in his hand, and immediately hands it in, as in the case of Lloyd's, information about derelicts seen, with the latitude and longitude and all the particulars, the thing is done at once. Now, you propose to get it vivâ voce 24 hours
after the arrival, and then you send the report to the Board of Trade. I cannot imagine a much slower process P-I did rot say 24 hours afterwards. Most of them report within 24 hours.
1834. (Mr. Trevor.) But that report which the chair. man holds in his hands is a report made to the Customs and not to the Board of Trade P-Yes, to the Customs.
1835. It is on the question of curgo for revenue par. poses P—It is the groundwork on which we work.
1836. (Chairman.) It seems quite clear that you want to dissociate the two questions P-Yes. 1837. (Mr. Trevor.) You think
separate the actual report from the action on the report P-I think so; it would be much more valuable in that way. The Receiver of Wreck is in the habit of asking questions, and it would get them more on a regular basis.
1838. (Chairman.) The Board of Trade do not make any direct inquiries, they depend upon the Customs – Qua wrecks, we are Board of Trade officers really.
1839. Wrecks are not floating derelicts R_Yes, a derelict is a wreck. The definition of “wreck is “flotsam, jetsam, lagan, and derelict;" that is the definition in the Act of Parliament.
1840. Is that fully understood by the captains P-I think everybody who knows anything about ships would understand it.
1841. They do not report ice P-We report on derelicts. The reporting of a casualty by a captain has been interpreted as a casualty to his own ship. If his own ship became derelict, he would report it, but he has not been in the babit of reporting other ships as derelict; and my process is, if the Board of Trade care about it, that we might have a report and obtain it successfully by reporting derelicts sighted by other ships.
1842. (Sir Evan MacGregor.) Could you include ice under the Act P-Not under the Act.
1843. (Capt. Wharton.) Could you include flotsam? -Yes; “falling in with wreck"; flotsam is wreck.
1814. Is not ice flotsam ?-Hardly ; fotsam is what floats off a ship ; jetsam is what is cast off a ship; lagan is what is buoyed, or rather marked by a buoy.
1845. (Sir Evan MacGregor.) Do you keep this return ? -Yes.
1846. So that it does not come to the Board of Trade at all p—That never comes to the Board of Trade.
1847. Here they have rescued five seamen of the schooner “ Drisco”P_That report would go from the Superintendent of the Mercantile Marine.
1848.-That would be abstracted P_That would be done at once.
1819. You examine that last statement about wreck whenever this comes in P—Taking either of the cases; instead of this little bit of a memorandum, and asking the captain whether he has reported this to Lloyd's, in my process we sbould have a form (Wr. 1 would do) in which the whole details in regard to this particular derelict would be set forth, and it would be sent to the Board of Trade for whatever it might be worth there, My duty here is to tell you what we can do, and what we are prepared to do; but not to advise you what to do when you have got the information.
1850. (Chairman.) But you are satisfied, with such a form as we bave been talking about, that you could have the information concerning any derelicts or dangers of the sea in your possession within a very few hours of the arrival P-I think so, and it would be very good business to do it.
1851. (Mr. Trevor.) Referring to the mode in which the ship masters and collectors and other officers of Customs perform their duties under sections 50 and 53 of the Customs Laws Consolidation Act, 1876, I want to read you a question and answer which was put to the secretary of the Ship Master's Society of London on the 8th May last. He was giving evidence in this room, and this question (1242) was put to him : “ You “ wish to imply that the captains of a good number of “ sbips arriving in England neglect to report under the " 53rd section of the Customs Laws Consolidation Act, “ 1876 ?—(4.) There is no doubt of the willingness of “ masters to give information if they are asked. The “ question is not raised except in the case of a casualty
or something of that kind; but a man may see “ 20 derelicts and enter them in the log, but it may “ not go outside the log, no one asking him for it. Now, in your experience is that an accurate statement
Mr. D. G.
8 June 1894.
or an overdrawn statement?-It is accurate within certain terms. I do not think we have been in the habit of using the word “derelict.” We say, " have you fallen in with any wreck,” and it is possible that captains would not interpret that as derelict coming under those terms; that is possible. If my suggestion were adopted there would be a desire on the part of all the officers to glean information with regard to derelicts themselves; and an order would be issued to ask about derelicts; and if it were to be a form as applied to derelicts, I am clear upon that, there would be an eager desire to report derelicts in the same way as the wrecks are reported at the present moment.
1852. Your suggestion is to bave a separate derelict form ?—Yes, you might forward a statement to the Board of Trade, always supposing that the Board of Trade would care to have the information.
1853. (Capt. Wharton.) Do we understand that you could not put ice into the form without fresh powers ? -I think not.
1854. Have not the Board of Trade power to give instructions to the officers ?-Undoubtedly under the Act, I think; but I feel quite certain if the Board of Trade should express a wish with regard to having ice reported that the same thing might be done.
1855. (Chuirman.) You cannot fine a man 1001. for not reporting ice, in the same way that you can with regard to the wreck P-Quite so.
1856. (Capt. Wharton.) This 53rd section of the Act states : “ That the master of a ship arriving at
ports beyond the seas shall answer all such questions
relating to the ship, cargo, crew, and voyage as shall “ be pat to him by the collector”; surely that includes that enormous danger from ice?-I think you might include almost anything so long as a lawyer would say that such question might be reasonable.
1857. Is not that reasonable ?-1 niean reasonable with regard to the ship itself and its cargo.
1858. (Chairman.) If a new island appeared on the route he would be bound to report it ?–My experience of captains of ships is that they are very willing to answer questions of the kind, and I have no doubt if the Board of Trade expressed a wish to have such questions asked, that they would get the information from the captains, but if you ask me whether it is provided for in the Act I should say not.
1859. (Capt. Wharton.) You think that the question of a large floe of ice is not a question relating to the voyage that would be proper for him to answer?-I do not think that it was a question in the minds of the framers of the Act. Perhaps I had better shelter myself by saying that you had better get a lawyer to give an opinion upon that. My own opinion is that it is not contemplated in section 53 of the Act. Indeed for that very reason I prefer dealing with the wrecks under section 50, because I think it is rather stronger in our favour.
1860. (Mr. Trevor.) Section 50 is the section which compels the master to make due report of the ship in that form No. 1, in Schednle B. to the Act ; that form specifying wreck P-Yes.
1861. May I ask one more question. Is the evidence you have given as to the general course which masters take in making these reports confined to the large and important port of which you are now collector, or does it also extend to the smaller ports in which you have served in previous years 8–In what respect. Is it in the way in which the questions are asked ?
1862. Yes - In the small ports they generally report direct to the collector.
1863. Exactly. Does the evidence of the secretary of the Shipmasters' Society in the answer to that one question which I read to you, and in which answer you apparently did not concar, apply as much to small ports as to larger ones?–My reply applies a fortiori to the smaller ports.
1864. For they have less to do P-For they have less to do, and the report is made direct to the Chief Officer of Customs.
1865. And therefore they are more easily got at PMoreover, it provides considerable emolument to those officers ; the fees would amount in some instances to 1001. or 1501., and that is a tangible item to an officer who has perhaps 3001. or 4001. a year.
1800. (Chairman.) Do you ever see the ships' logs ? -Yes.
1867. Have you got the power to ask a captain to produce them P-Yes.
The witness withdrew.
(Adjourned to Friday next, at 12 o'clock.)
At the Office of the Board of Trade, Friday, 15th June 1894.
REAR-ADMIRAL LORD WALTER KERR IN THE CHAIR.
C. CECIL TREVOR, Esq., C.B.
Captain W. J. L. WHARTON, R.N., F.R.S.
J. Waddon Martyn, Esq., Secretary.
Captain W. J.L. Wharton.
Captain WILLIAM J. L. WHARTON, R.N., F.R.S., a Member of the Committee called and examined.
1868. (Chairman.) Are you Hydrographer to the Royal Navy P-Yes.
1869. Have you seen a publication of the United States Hydrographic Office called “Wrecks and Derelicts in " the North Atlantic Ocean, 1887 to 1893 inclusive”? -Yes.
1870. Have you any remarks that you wish to make on the statements there brought forward P-I have
examined this Report with as much detail as is possible. It is a comprehensive account of all the information the United States Hydrographic Office has been able to collect with regard to derelicts and wrecks on the bottom during seven years. The part of it that is of importance, bearing on the subject of our inquiry, is that dealing with collisions with derelicts, and especially those from which total loss or serious damage has resulted. But the list of derelicts