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(81 InD.; 106rf. 

[ * ] 

[ 5 1 


[N.B.hi this Index the Figures following the Names of the Witnesses, and those in the 
Digest of Evidence of each Witness, refer to the Questions la the E\-idence ; 
those following App. ref* to the Pages in the Appendix ; and the Numerals 
following Rep. to the Pages in the Reports and Proceedings of the Committee.] 



Underlxdlaating. Large numbers of ships go to sea underballasted, and in 1900 
seven vessels in ballast were totally lost, and many accidents, such as strandings, 
etc., from this cause, Moore 5, 6, Miller 185, Wood 304, 327, Noble 490, Ghaaton 676, 
Ditchhwrn 873 ; underballasting especially rife in Atlantic trade and Black Sea trade, 
and others, Melville 1759, Noble 510; owmg to bad times and low freights, owners 
tempted to underballast from motives of economy on long voyages. Wood 282, 
338; and, in short, they trust to nearness of ports, Moore 16, 151-155; this 
unwise, as underballasted ship on leeshore more dangerous than in open sea, Moore 

Owner's losses covered by insurance. Underballasted vessels all right in fine 
weather, hence temptation. Wood 293-297, Wyatt 1279 ; but become frequently 
unmanageable in bad, Kendall 1340, Cunning hame 1698. 

All ships should be ballasted so that they could meet bad weather with safety. 
Wood 298, Noble 488 ; light vessels also dangerous to other traffic if they are out of 
control. Noble 477 ; sailing ships not so much underballasted as steamers. Wood 
282 ; and it is chiefly in case of tramps that underballasting prevails, Benyon 1123 
1133, 1144; practice has increased of late years, Moore 163. 

Habit of carrying ballast on deck and throwing it overboard before reaching port, 
to save expense of haulage, very dangerous, Clennent 754, Wyatt 1309-1313; a 
vessel well ballasted and in good trim manageable in almost any weather : the same 
vessel light unmanageable, Melville 1753-1758. 

No statistics as to losses from underballasting, Clement 1787, Rowell 1436, 
Cunninghame 1713, Maunder 1230. 

Modern type of ships require more ballast (Tables of increase of beam in relation 
to length etc.. See Appendix G. (Rowell) ) ; vessels built lighter to get greater dead- 
weight carrying capacity ; hulls built of steel instead of iron, and reduction in weight 
of plates and machinery, Rowell 1421, 1426, 1427, 1496, 1501, McGlashan 1544, 
Seaton 948, 991, Howell 1847 ; hence number of casualties in 1899-1900, Douglas 

This is gradually being recognised by shipowners, Traill 2276, 2305-2309 ; little 
danger to life caused by underballasting, Chaston 664-672, 687 ; but other 
inconveniences arise from it, such as delays to vessels, and cost of repairs to 
machinery and hull, Yeoman 2502, Mackay 2168, Howell 1852, Moore 104, 160-170 ; 
owners have therefore begun to provide increased water-ballast space ; percentage of 
water-ballast to under-deck tonnage from 1898-1902, Howell 1853 ; no loss of life has 
been actually proved due to underballasting, Mackay 2165; and there is no instance 
of sailors refusing to go to sea in underballasted ship. Maunder 1239 ; loss of life 
smaller in vessels in ballast than in vessels in cargo, by statistics. Yeoman 2495 ; 
when ships have been lost other causes may have contributed, Mackay 2166, Howell 
1938-1939; owners too anxious for good passages to underballast largely, Traill 
2279-2280 ; and large steamers take special precaution, such as extra bunker coal or 
solid ballast in addition to water, Howell 1841 ; tramps may come in light on short 
(81 Ind.) a 2 coasting 


liopurt, 1904 tuntinued. 

Battad oontinuod. 

coasting voyages. Yeoman 2473-2474 ; but then they need not be heavily ballasted 
u 8)mo witneBsen have said, llorvall 1482; any owner who sends ship to sea in an 
unfca worthy condition from want of ballast intentionally is guilty of serious crime ; 
and mn be punished with imprisonment, Hourll 1784. 

Since question of light load line t^ikon up bv Parliament surveyors had special 
onlers to report any of undcrl>allasting. ifo such reports have been received, 
so it cannot be so common a practice as has been alleged, Howell 1838-1840 ; and 
at no Court of Inquiry has it been found that an owner has intentionally sent his 
ship to sea underballastcd, Jlowdl 2020-2025. 

It is against his own interest to underballast, as a ship which meets with mishaps 
verv quickly gets a bad name with the underwriters, Yeorrum 2516; and in the 
seconu place moat vessels re insured in mutual Underwriting Associations, Douglan 

Perhaps a lighter penalty might be devised for owners whose ships have gone to 
sea in an unseaworthy condition, without their knowledge, but at present there is 
nothing of the kind. This explains why no action has been taken against owners, 
IloufU 2027-2031. 

Appendicet to Underballaatiny. Fifteen cases of accident ; Reports of Court 
(Appendix A., tables A. to N., Moore) ; tables of vessels registered ; proportion of 
voyages of vessels in ballast to those in cargo ; and casualties to vessels registered 
during 17 years ended 1901 ; with reports of finding of courts (Appendix C, .H^otueM) ; 
Tables of casualties to vessels in ballast during six years ended 30th June 1902, with 
list of missing ships posted at Lloyds and abstract of official inquiries (Appendix F. 

Water-bnlUist. Is most convenient form of ballast and most easily secured, Rowell 
1440-1442 ; in mcdem light type of ship extra ballast is required, Seaton 948-991 ; 
owners beginning to recognise this fully, Rmvell 1433-1435 ; ships are now built 
with cellular bottoms where water is carried, i.e., in model type, as in " Hercules," 
Cookf 2707, 2708, Lout it 370, Mason 1171 ; and some with deep water- tanks amid- 
ships, Cooke 2707-2708 ; these tanks should be carefully built else the vessel will 
roll, Loutit 378-881 ; some owners object to them however, as it interferes with 
cargo-carrying capacity of vessels, Walton 2400, McGlashan 1545-1547. 

Light load line would put some owners to great expense, firstly because it is 
expensive to add tanks to older types of steel ships, and secondly because water 
ballast cannot be used in wooden vessels McOlashan 1667-1672 ; and other forms 
of ballast are too expensive, RoweU 1438-1439 ; but various methods of ballasting 
with water are being devised, Walton 23(50-2415; and any danger from under- 
ballasting now on the decline, W(dton 2364-2365. 

Shifting of Ballast. "Host important to secure ballast properly, Loutit 390, Doualaa 
2638. ^ 

Loose rubbish ballast in the bottom, if not properly secured, very troublesome and 
even dangerous, McGlashan 1570; any ballast carried on deck may be washed 
av&y, Clement 7 5i; any measure compelling owners to put more ballast on board 
useless, unless it also has the eflFect of making owners secure it properly Moore l'>8 
176. \77, Williams 20{i7. i f .> 

How to prevent shifting by more efficient shifting boards, Erskine 1513-1522. 

Tuwing BalUut.Wery imporUnt fo? vessel to be well ballasted when in tow, Erskine 

ReeomvienibUions as to ballasting, etc., niles drawn up by Marine Mutual Insurance 
Associations of United Kingdom in 1899 ; owners co-operated heartily and were 
eager that all.shipmastors should have them, Douglas 2633, Williams 2129-2130. 
Addenda issued in 1901, good effect undoubted, Douglas 2635. 
hij)x in Balltisl, accidents to, 
" Ashmore " 14. 

" Ardanbhan" 24 (see Appendix A., Moore, and Appendix C, Table E. Howell) 

Alacrity " 238. 
" Algores " 247. 

" Albion " 25. 2005 (see Appendix L., Moore, and Appendix C. Table E Howell) 

" Ameer " 251. 

' Ariel " 331, (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 

Hcilford " (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 



Report, 1904 continued. 

Ballast continued. 

" Bahama " (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
" Buckingham " 77, 282-284, 1739. 
'Bothilde Russ" 118, 251, 1328. 
Burton "235-236. 

" County of Haddington" (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
" County of Salop " (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
' Clacnacuddin " 834-836. 
" Caradoc " 34 (see Appendix B., Moore, and Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
' Culmore " (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
' Cleaver " 239. 

' Cape Winter" 430 (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
"Celtic Bard" 1716-1720 (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
" Cremona " (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
" Cro^vn of Austria " (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 

"Dominion " 64, 1715 (see Appendix C, Table E., Moore, and Appendix C, Table 
E., Hotvell). 
" Dalbeattie " 239. 
" Dorotea " 247, 2006. 
" Daventry " 247. 
" Deloraine " 249, 2006. 

" Elmbank " (see Appendix C, Table E., Hoivell). 
" Ethiopia " 67 (see Appendix F., Moore). 
" Emily " 247. 

" Ella Sayers " 251, 1338, 2006. 
"Foxton Hall" 1333. 
" Finsbury " 728-740. 

" Hampshire " (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
"Helvetia" 1260. 
"Hampstead" 828. 

"Heraclides" 99-103, 374, 1752, 2314-2620 (see Appendix C, Table E., /fou'ett 
.-iind Appendix M., Moore). 

" Heathbank " (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
"John Adamson " 720-721. 
" Kaisari " 76-2463 (see Appendix N., Moore). 
"Lanetta" 1865. 

" Laurelbank " 53 (see Appendix C, Moore, and Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
"Leonora" 251, 1326. 
"Loch Lomond" 477. 
"Lionel" 748-749. 

" Limache " 68, 429 (see Appendix J., Moo're, and Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
" Moel Trynan " 16, 69, 218, 390 (see Appendix K., and Appendix C, Table E., 

" Midas" 18, 67 (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell, and Appendix H., Moore). 
" Meath" 251, 1338 (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
" Mayflower " 1307-1308. 

" Mohegan " (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
" Manchester " (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 

" Nonpareil " 58 (see Appendix L., Moore, and Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
" Ottercaps " 2392. 
Perseverance " 67 (see Appendix G., Moore and Appendix C, Table E , Howell). 

'' Pearl" 265, 236. 
' Rathdown " (sec Appendix C, Table E., Hoivell). 

" Ready 


Report, 1904 >?/iurf. 

BaUttMt continued. 

' Reatly Rhino " 239. 

" Sir Francis Drake " (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 
"SoUno" 249. 1333. 

"Sylvania" 130, 108, 282-284, 1890-1891, 2667-2693 (see Appendix P., AToore,. 
and Appendix C. Table E., Howfll). 

Talas " (see Appendix C, Table E., HoweU). 
"Twijteir 763. 

Trefiisis " 68 (see Appendix I., Moore, and Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 

"Volney" 249, 2715-2722. 

" Violante " (see Appendix C, Table E., Howell). 


" Woodleigh " 249, 1333. 

"William Huntet" 748-788. 

Barter, Captain. (Analysis of his Evidence). 
LiglU Load Live. Almost impossibility to work a light load line, 2567. 
Useless to insist on immersion of propeller. 
This could be done equally well by lightening the ship forward. 
Light load line would l)e inconvenient in ports, where ships have to wait outside 
a bar. 

Since, being in smooth water, they would want to clear the holds and could not 
for fear of inspectors, 2572-2577. 

Also inconvenient in coasting voyages, 2578. 

Then allowance must be made for coal con.sumption on voyages, 2584-2586. 

Masters would be liable to interference in foreign ports, 2587-2590. 

Has never come across a ship in ballast unmanageable, 2594. 

Does not know wliat effect line would have on Fruit Trade, 2595-2599. 

Benyon, Captain Heni-y Lewis. (Analysis of his Exidence.) 

Formerlv a master-mariner wth ten years' experience. Has been a Channel 
pilot for five years, 1084-1087. 

HaUast. Gives evidence as to cases of underballasting, 1088-1090, 1099-1105 

Could not make protest to owners for fear of dismissal, 1091-1098. 

But nominally responsible, 1091, 1106. 

Has kno>vn cases of stranding in Swansea Hai-bour owing to want of ballast 
1111-1114, 1116-1117. 

Shipmasters have told him of many similar accidents to tramps, 1123, 1133-1144 

Statistics of casualties from this cause, 1130-1131. 

An emergcncv tank for rough weather ought to be provided in everv vessel 
1126, 1136-1137. 

Has the supix)rt of many masters on this question, 1139. 

Has si^ested it to owners but they did not care to go to the extra expense, 1150. 

Underbullastcd ships in Bristol Channel are exposed to great dan"-er, 1153-1160. 

Light Ixiad Line. A question which should be left to experts, 1127. 
Would rather give no opinion on the subject, 1128. 

Hl^ck Sea. 

Underballastetl vessels frequently met there. Noble 510 ; as voyage from Italian 
ports through Bosphorus to Black Sea ports is nearly always made in ballast Noble 
518. ' ' 

Board of Trade. 

Cowrttof Inquiry. Wreck Commissioners in cases of accident, forward report to 
Board of Tnulc. If necessary. Board orders inquiry to be held. Home Office 
appoint 2 Nautical A-ssessors to assist the Court. Either a stipendiary magistrate 



Report, 1904 continued. 

Board of Trade continued. 

or two lay magistrates preside at inquiry. And in Scotland the Sheriff, Moore 
30-34, 133-136, Hou-ell 1818. 

There is no standing court but a court ad hoc appointed for each particular 
inquiry. In cases where a ship leaves port and is never heard of again, Board of 
Trade appoints an Inspector who conducts inquiry himself, Moore 44. 

Nautical Accessors. must have qualifications for post, i.e., extra master's certificate- 
etc., and a,re permanent officials under Home Office ; always 2 assessors in Court 
when certificate of an officer is in question ; when case of loss of life 3, Moore 39-41, 
Howell 1819; confidence is generally felt in capabiHty of assessors; Home Office 
have special Usts of assessors and appoint for each case, Hoiuell 1820-1822. 

Surveyors. 132 appointed by Board ot Trade, including supervising officers; 
21 of these nautical surveyors, 79 engineers, 32 are shipwrights ; cannot of course 
take notice of every individual ship, but have special mformation and experience 
and could stop at once any regular system of underballasting, Howell 1837-1840. 

Detaining Officers. Board of Trade have powers under Merchant Shipping Act to 
detain unseaworthy vessels. Miller 191-195, Trail 2268 ; yet apparently no case 
where vessel has been detained for being underballasted, Moore 20-22, 
their Miller 191-192, Roberts 253-275, Wood 292, 345, Clement 799, 
McGla.sham 1614-1615 ; ^vitnesses assert that detaining officers must act at 
own risk in such a case, and, being liable for damages if they are proved to have 
detained vessel unnecessarily, are not anxious to use the power given under the 
Act, Moore 20-23, Miller 209, 224-228, Seaton 1013-1014, McGlasham 1623-1625; 
and that consequently a light load line would make their position easier and 
prevent them letting underballasted vessels leave port. Miller 211, Wood 325-327, 
Clement 766, McGlaahan 1598-1607, 1613 ; since the question of underballasting 
has been taken up by Parliament, special instructions have been given to their 
officers by Board of Trade (see Appendix D, Howell) as to prevention of under- 
ballasted vessels leaving port ; but detaining officers prefer to arrange matter between 
masters and themselves without bringing it into Court, Wood 363, Trail 2290-2297 ; 
warning is given to owners, and legal proceedings are taken only if warning is 
disregarded, Howell 1785 ; and surveyors are not deterred from doing their duty by 
the fact that Board of Trade has to pay damages, if a ship is unnecessarily 
detained, as they only make report to detaming officers, 1984-1989 ; as a matter ot 
fact, even cases of this kind extremely rare and action on part of detaining officers 
seldom necessary Trail 2271, 2297-2302, 2323-2325 ; would ot course detain 
vessel, if dangerously underballasted, Tniil 2274; little chance of vessel in 
such condition escaping notice of surveyors. Trail 2333-2338. 

Board of Trade Inspectors. Without a light load line detention of underballasted 
vessels a difficult matter, 440-442. 

More precise instructions to Inspectors might have good effect, 463. 

Accidents due to londerballasting. Has not come across vessels unmanageable from 
this cause, 462. 

Does not know percentage of such accidents, 466. 

Boyes, B^ar- Admiral G. T. H. (Analysis of his Evidence.) Director of Transports at 
the Admiralty. 

Light Load Line. Would give assessors great assistance in cases that come before 
them, 429. 

Would show the amount of ballast a ship ought to have, 430. 

Experts should find no great difficulty in their decision if Parliament said it should 
be established, 438. 

Vessels should be ballasted so that the water just came up to the line, 447-452. 

Same machinery as dealt with deep load line not available. W^ould have to be 
specially considered, 471. 

Would be of great value to detaining officers, and everyone connected with ship, 
473, 474. 
Ballast. There would be difficulty in settling quantity of ballast needed for difierent 
classes of ships, 429. 

Ballasting a ship would be a matter of trim, 453, 459. 

Masters. A Light Load line \Yould remedy position of masters, 443-444. 

But has no knowledge of feeling of masters ot trading vessel on this subject, 446. 

All masters are not in a position to demand more ballast from owners, 464. 


10 B 1{ I CLE 

Report, 1904- rontinmd. 

Briiitk Corporation have headquarters ut Glns<:fow. 

A Scotch Shipping Ref^stry, Seat&n 10()5 ; fix deep load line like Lloyds, Seaton 

Britiah India SUam Navigation Company. 

Statistics as to shaft accidents in this company ; decided decrease, since shafting 
was cnlar^. ifackay 2180-2181. 

Burtuu Veritaa. 

French Shipping Registry on the same lines as Lloyds, Seaton 1063-1066 ; are 
able to fix deep load lino on ship built under their supervision, Seaton 1073. 

Chaaton, Mr. Edvaird Cattnore. (Analysis of his Evidence). 

Marino Superintendent Enrineer; 12 years at sea in all trades except in 
Australia and New Zealand. Has first-class certificates, etc., 529-546 ; connected in 
1889 with Mr. Havelock's firm in Newcastle. Large tramp owner, 546-544. 
Head Superintendent of " Planet " line of steamers, 552, 562. 

UnderhnlUuitiiuj. ' Hathor," unmanageable on her trial through, 570. 
Passages very bad owing to, 571. 
Defects and failures of shafting, often due to, 574-584, 676-679. 

(See statements of Mr. J. T. Milton, Engineer-Surveyor to Lloyds' Register, 586, 
ind Mr. Hock (Lloyds Head Engineer on the Tyne), 591, 592. 
Strandings occur from, 595-598. 

Figures in " Syren " shipping paper of accidents due to, 604. 
Accidents to " Jupiter " and " Vulcan," due to, 606, 609. 
(Owners now are ballasting up to one-third of dead weight of vessel, 617, 674.) 
Not much danger to life caused by, 664-672, 689. 
Alx)Ut 25 per cent, of vessels go to sea with, 696. 

Light Load Line. No need for, question could be left to underwriters, 619. 

Firms with best names cluirged lowest premiums, 620-622, 657-662. 

Anv great change would hamper large numbers of shipowners and question 
bound to rectify itself in a few years, 623, 692-699, 701-703. 

Many accidents from 1898-1900, but a decrease during last two years, 634 as 
owners have begmi to pay attention to question, 653-654, 681, 683. 

No l^^lation needed at present, 685. 

Clmnent, Mr. David. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

SecreUry to National Seamen's Federated Union, etc., 717 757 758 Great 
experience at sea, 719. > > 

VmhrbaUaating. Cases of " John Adamson " and " Finsburv " 720-728 of " Lionel " 
748. of "Pwizell "763. of "WiUiam Hunter "785. 

Ma-sters often have instructions from o\vners to heave ballast overboard before 
reachmg port 729. 768-778. 

Thus vessels endangered if bad weather met on passage out, 736-74a 
Balliust .sometimes carried on after-deok so that it may be easier to get overboard 
Many accidont.s due U) this practice, 754. 

Seamen run great danger by going to sea in underballasted ships, 758-760. 
Has never directed attention to statistics of loss of life from this cause, 787. 
Light lAMtd Line. Believes it is required, 720. 

Would prevent practice of stowing ballast on deck, 754. 
Ar,/ o/ T-mJ^.-Light load line would facilitate detention of underballasted ships. 

Knows no case of ves-sel being detained for being underiaden, 799. 

But owners have been fined for overloading, 794. 

Union once took up case of this description, but lost it, 802-805. 



Report, 1904 continued. 

Clement Mr. David. (Analysis of his Evidence) continued. 

Light Load Line. Seamen belonging to the Union in favour of it, 759, 779-780. 

Would enable them to remonstrate with master, if vessel was underballasted, 766. 

Several masters of his acquaintance also approve, 1766. 

Board of National Seamen's Federation passed resolution in favour, 808-810. 

Might put several vessels out of the trade 815-818, but would not have any effect 
on shipping industry, 820. 

CoUard, Mr. Alfred Stephen. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Partner in R. P. Houston and Co, Managers of British and South American 
Steam Navigation Company, 2612. 

Wishes to give evidence about " Heraclides," 2614. 

Not true that owners were to blame for disaster. 

Master could have had more ballast if wanted. 

'' Heraclides " really well ballasted, 2619. 

Cook, Mr. Ernest. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Member of Messrs. Rogers and Co. (shipowners), 2715. 

Not true that the " Volney " was unmanageable. 

Account of accident to the " Volney," 2715-2716. 

Firm's steamers built for coasting trade, and never in ballast. 

Have had no trouble with broken shafts or loss of life, 2717-2722. 

Cooke, Captain Arthv/r Clerment. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Holds extra master's certificate from Board of Trade, 2527. 
Secretary of Mercantile Steamship Company, Limited. 
17 years master in cargo steamers, 2528. 

Ballast. Great experience of vessels in ballast. 
In bad weather and dangerous seas. 

Has never had accident resulting either in stranding or broken shaft. 
Denies that vessels in ballast are unsea worthy, 2529. 
Has known vessels difficult to steer through being light, 2534-2535. 
But a vessel in this condition cannot be really dangerous owing to small number 
of casualties, 2536. 

Accidents would not happen if masters were more careful. 

Coasting voyages really safest owing to proximity of ports, 2540-2545. 

Masters. Never had any trouble with owners himself. 

Never heard question of underballasting mentioned with regard to safety but only 
discomfort, 2537, 2549. 

Believes statements of relations between owners and masters to be exaggerated, 

Light Load Line. Would drive many vessels under a foreign flag, 2538. 
As happened in case of deep load line. 

Even if made applicable to foreign vessels, would be practically a dead letter, 2538. 
No fair light load line could be devised. 
Large number of vessels, that run safely now, would suffer. 

Different kinds of voyages would have to be considered, and difficulties of pro- 
curing ballast would cause great expense, 2539. 

Cunninghame, Captain Andrew. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Formerly master mariner of 13 years' experience. Nautical Assessor to Home 
Office for 14 years, 1691-1694. 

Will give evidence chiefly as to sailing ships, 1695. 

JBoZias*. Agrees that underballasted ships at sea are often unmanageable and 
danger-><i8, 1698. 
(81 Ind ) B And 

12 C U N PIT 

Report, 1904 continue. 

Cunninijhame. dtptain Andrfw. (Analysis of his Endenoey-continiied. 

And that vcesels and lives have been lost from underballasting, 1698. 

Machinery gets injured from same cause, 1699. 

Has experienced how difficult it is to ballast a vessel without displacement scale 

And how light vessels make bad passages, 1702-1706. 

As master, always had free hand as regards ballast, 1707-1709. 

So, after experience of underballasting, always took enough, 1710. 

Largo numbers of vessels go to sea light, both steamers and sailing ships, 1712. 

Can give no figures of losses due to underballasting, 1713. 

But held inquiry into four suspicious cases, 1713-1716-1721-1723. 

Also important that .ships should be properly trimmed, 1717-1718. 

Thinks that vessels should be safe if ballasted to a third of deadweight capacity, 

If this was made statutory, light load line coUld be placed satisfactorily, 1726- 

JAght Load Line.U laid down in this proportion, should apply only to sailing 
vessels, 1733. 

Steamers should have it also, h\ih on different scale, 1735-1736. 

With regard to steamers, it is more a question of trim, 1736-1739. 

Light load line might not deal with this, 1743. 

Would need special regulations from Board of Trade, 1743. 

Any amendment to existing regulations would involve expense to owners, 1744. 

Would probably come cheaper in the end, 1744. 

Represents opinion of many seafaring men, 1745. 

Deep Load Line. 

There was undoubtedly strong case for deep load line, Wood 358 Mackay 

Lloyds' Register were responsible for fixing it, McGlashan 1632-1638. 

Deep load line has been success, Moore 144-149, Noble 491. 

No detentions for overloading before it was passed, McGlashan 1680; but in spite 
of care with which it was drawn up has prejudicially affected English vessels in 
North Atlantic Trade, Howell 2015 ; and in other trades, Williams 2069 ; pratically 
a dead letter as regards foreign ships ; further bad effect of it on English trade, 
Yeoman 2448. 

Deep Load Line and Foreign Countries. At present not compulsory for foreign 
countries, RouxU 1465-1470 ; but under consideration with German, Dutch, French, 
and Russian Governments, Moore 106 ; see statement made in French Chamber of 
Deputies, Moore 106. 

A 8j)ecial Commission of Reichstag in 1902 recommended a maximum and 
minimum load line, Mowe 115-116. 

Hamburg-American Line have decided to mark a line on all their vessels, Moore 

Merchant Service Guild of opinion that Foreign Governments will in time impose 
the same isestrictions as English Government, Moore 116. 

Ditehhum, Captain Joseph Alfred. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Has master's certificate ; 22 years' experience at sea in all trades except China ; 
ten years in tramp steamers, 822, 828. 

Underballasting. Vessels in fine weather can go to sea with clean swept holds, 828 

In rough weather unmanageable without sufficient ballast, 828, 831, 833. 

Case of " Hampstead " 828 ; 75 per cent, of ships have not enough ballast for rough 
weather, 837. 

When water-ballast insufficient, stone-ballast put in, 829. 

And thrown overboard before reachii^g port, 829-830. 


D I T D O U 13 

Report, 1904 continued. 

Ditchbum, Captain Joseph Alfred. (Analysis of his Evidence) continued. 

Loss of life sometimes occurs (Case of " Clac-na-Cuddin "), 834, 860. 

Owners save expenses by sending ships light to sea, 864 ; but at risk of their 
property, 866. 

BLnows no cases of loss of life through ships going ashore from underballasting^ 

Masters. Masters held responsible for filling water ballast tanks, 829. 

If ship unsteady when tanks are filled, may get concession for extra ballast, 829. 
Ought not to be blamed for accidents due to underballasting, 832. 
If owners order them to sail in insufficient ballast, must go or be dismissed, 837. 
Knows two such cases, 858-859. 

Light Load Line. Ought to be no more difficultv in fixing it than in case of Plimsoll 
mark, 838. 

Would not seriously affect trade, 839. 

No practical solution of present question to be found by leaving it to under- 
writers, 844 ; or shipbuilders, 842, as suggested. 

Might help if underwriters insisted in their pohcies that screw should be sub- 
merged to a certain amount, 848, 849 ; and in that case some sort of line would be 
necessary, 850. 

No difficulty would be found in deahng with cases of throwing ballast overboard 
on outward passages, 853, 859. 

Would prevent any fraud, 874. 

Strongly in favour of it, 872-873. 

Douglas, Mr. Robert Richardson. (Analysis of his Evidence) 

Underwriting. 25 years manager of Mutual Insurance Associations. 
List of Associations of which he is manager. 
Insures two-thirds of entire sailing tonnage of United Kingdom. 

Wishes to disprove statements made before Committee, (1) that owners are- 
indifferent to loss of vessel because they are covered by insurance ; (2) that economy 
is regarded rather than safety, 2619. 

Shipowners insure largely by Mutual Underwriting Associations ; losses increase 
cost of insurance. 

Has always found owners anxious for safety of vessels and crews, 2631. 

By losing a vessel an owner loses part of business. 

And investors liable to withdraw their money. 

No reason to suppose that owners are not desirous to prevent accidents, 2632. 

When Insurance Associations published " Recommendation to Shipmasters," 
owners co-operated zealously, 2633. 

BeUeves that recommendations are largely carried out, 2634, 2657-2658. 

Ballast. Underballasted sailing vessels make bad passages. 

In years 1899 and 1900 new models caused exceptional state of things, 13 vessels, 
excluding strandings, lost. 

Since then no losses, 2635-2636. 

No necessity for light load lin. 

Impossible to fix fairly. 

More important to secure that ballast should be properly secured and distributed. 

Without this, light load line, worse than useless, 9638, 2650-2653! 

Cannot tell if under or improper ballasting caused the aforementioned 13 losses. 

But, with one exception, they had been ballasted in other than European ports, 

Has never heard of a desire among masters for hght load line, 2659. 

Cannot speak at aU of steamships, 2661-2666. 
(81 IWD.) B 2 Erskine, 

14 E R S (> R A 

Bport, 1904 continued. 


Enkine. Captain William. (Analysis of his Evidence). 

29 jenn master, 1503. 

In the India and China trades principally, 1505. 
Now Nautical Assessor, 1506. 

Attends inquiries in all parts of the country, as he gets orders from Home OflBce, 

Ba//<M/ Sailing ships not much imderballasted on long sea voyages at present. More 
accidents due to shifting of ballast, 1512. 
Present system rather ineffectual. 

Explanation how ballast is placed in modem ships, 1513-1S15. 
Objections to this plan, 1515-1517. 
And suggestions for improvement of system, 1517-1521. 
How ballast could be belter secured, and at small expense, 1521-1522. 
Many vessels lost owing to balljist shifting, 1523-1525. 
Especially in Shanghai Trade, 1522-1524. 
Where ballast is Composed of aflnvial mud, 1524. 

Towing Ballast. Very important for steamers in tow to be well ballasted ; if a gale 
gets up, tug may have to let go, and vessel, if underballasted, in greatest danger, 

Has known cases of ships being terribly underballasted when in tow, 1528. 

And also of ordinary cargo steamers on coastwise voyages, 1531. 

There is undoubtedly an evil of underballasting ; nearly all vessels, ballasted with 
water, have not enough, 1535-1537. 

Light Ixxid Line. Some sort of line is needed; difficulty is where to put it; a 
bulkhead in the middle of the ship would, perhaps, answer, 1538. 


Fenvrick, Mr. John Fenwick. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 
Member of Fenwick and Son, London, 2520. 
President of Chamber of Shipping, 1894, 2521. 
Vice-Chairman of Shipping Federation, 2522. 
Tramp steamers run very safely. 
Agrees with evidence given by representatives of shipowners, 2523-2524 

, G. 

Oilehrist, Captain Robert James. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 
Shipmaster, 2550. 

Has made coasting and Atlantic voyages in ballast and never had difficulty, 2552. 
Denies that owners are hard on masters, 2555. 
Has never heard light road line discassed, 2556. 

Oraham, The mast Hon. The Marquess of. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Certified master mariner of Mercantile Marine, and Associate of Institute of Naval 
ArchitocU. Has had experience at sea, 2059. 

Ballast. Has trequently met vessels at sea in too light trim. 
Two cases where they have been unmanageable. 
Reasons why a ship in light trim is unmanageable. 
And what causes breaking of shafts. 
How to give a ship stability. 


G R A HOW 15 

Report, 1904 continued. 

Graham, The most Hon. The Marquess of. (Analysis of his Evidence) continiied. 
And ensure proper ballasting or loading. 
Calculations would have to be made in case of each vessel 
Quite feasible. 

Shipowners do not intentionally send their ships to sea in dangerous condition. 
It occurs partly from desire to economise. 
Partly from ignorance. 
And Masters must obey orders of owners. 

However, in case of inquiry, when accident was due to underballasting, it should 
always be discovered whether owner or master was responsible, 2059-2060. 

Light Load Line. Would undoubtedly assist surveyor in determining whether ship 
was underballasted. 

Foreign ships can be made applicable to it, as Act stands ; would ensure greater 
safety on high seas, 2059-2060. 


English Port for City of Dublin Steam Packet Co., Kendall 1316 ; also harbour of 
refuse for ships in Channel Service, Kendall 1319 ; probably 30 per cent, of ships 
commg in underballasted, Kendall 1320 -1326 ; and are considerable danger to 
company's ships as channel into harbour is small, 1340 ; both lifeboats in harbour 
frequently out owing to collisions, &c., Kendall 1379 ; a good many ships call there 
for orders, Kendall 1416. 

Howell, Mr. Walter J., C.B. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Assistant Secretary of Board of Trade and chief of Marine Department, 1783. 

Under Section 713 of Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, Board of Trade is department 
authorised to superintend all matters relatmg to merchant shipping, 1783. 

And so can detain ship unseaworthy from any cause whatever. 

Owner who sends ship to sea in such condition intentionally, liable to criminal 
prosecution which can only be instituted with consent of Board of Trade, 1784. 

Warnings have been given to owners, but in no case has prosecution or detention 
been necessary, as such proceedings would only be taken if warning had been dis- 
regarded. Case of " Northernhay," 1785. 

Have never taken legal proceedings where Courts of Inquiry have said that 
vessel was lost owing to want of ballast, as legal adviser has never found case, 1786. 

Since question first brought forward, Board of Trade have analysed returns, 
instructed officers to watch at ports, and addressed communications to underwriters 
and shipowners, 1788. 

As on former occasions, still think that no case has been made out of light load 
line, 1790. 

Of course have special sources of information, 1791. 

Has list of all casualties for last 17 years and lists of clearances and entrances in 
all ports of United Kingdom, with proportion or voyages in ballast to those in cargo 
for years 1885, 1893, 1901, 1902; 1792. (See Appendix C, Tables b., c, d., e., and 
Appendix C. Table a.) 

32| per cent, in ballast, 67J per cent, in cargo, 1794. 

Percentage of losses of vessels and life in ships in ballast very small, 1795-1800 
(See Table D.). 

And satisfactory diminution in last 20 months, 1801. 

Proportion of loss amongst vessels in ballast is less than amongst vessels with 
cargoes, 1804. 

In last 20 months 24 accidents with loss of life to steamers in ballast, 1805-1810 
(See Appendix.). 

Examination of causes of accident, 1811-1816. 

Does not think any lives in these cases would have been saved by the operation 
of a light load line, 1817. 

In eleven years 2,200 inquiries. 


16 11 O W E L L, 

Report, 1904 continued. 

HotvtU, Mr. WalUir J., C.B. (Anal}'si8 of his Eyidence) continued. 

And t 34 question of underballasting or improper ballasting raised, of these, 20 
sailing vessels and 14 steamers. 

Out of 20 sailing vessels 6 insufficiently ballasted. 

And out 14 steamers, 5. 

Figures important as steamers far out-number sailing vessels. 

Rpstered sailing vessels of United Kingdom (See Table F.). 

Stotistics as to this, 1821-1840. 

Shaft fractures since 1901 (See Table G.). 

Up to 1902, 75. 

34 in ballast, 41 in cargo. 

For 6 months of 1903, 35. 

12 in ballast, 23 in cargo. 

IJ per cent, of total of shipping. 

Shaft breakage consequently les.s, annoying but nowise dangerous, 1830-1832. 

Strenfjthening of shafts demanded by Lloyds Rules had a very salutary effect, 

Examined Ust of statistics in shipping; paper found 116 cases during last year. 
. 62 foreign ships, 8 in ballast. 

54 British ships, 11 in ballast. 

So shaft breakage obviously no due to underballasting, 1836. 

Numbers and functions of surveyors, 1837. 

They had special instructions to report cases of underballasting to Board of Trade, 

But no such reports have been received, 1839. 

Therefore imderballasting cannot be very common, 1840. 

Atlantic steamers take special precautions., such as excess of bunker coal or solid 
ballast in addition to water, 1841. steamers rely on water, but there is certainly a tendency amongst 
owners of this class of vessel to put no more ballast in than necessary, 1842. 

Causes of underballasting vessels built lighter to get greater dead weight 
canj'ing capacity, 1846. 

Hulls built of steel instead of iron and reduction in weight of plates and machinery, 

Owners begin to recognise inconveniences of underballasting, such as delays to 
vessels, and cost of repairs to machinery and hull, 1892. 

Hence increase water-ballast space provided in new ships. Statistics of percentage 
of water-ballast to underdeck tonnage from, 1898-1902. 

Some lines adopt special Iwllasting rules of their own ; private owners can do this, 
hut State could not lay down rules tor all types of vessels, 1853. 

Therefore in view of attitude of owners to underballasting, le^slation to be 
deprecated, 1854. 

Difficulties in the way of fixing light load line enormous. Might be overcome 
if necessity should be shown, but it has not, 1853-1856. 

Surveyors say that few ships go to sea underballasted. "Foxglove" left under- 
manned ; of course impo.ssil)le to examine every vessel leaving port ; have to be 
guided by general information as to what ships they inspect, 1858-1864, 1877. 

" Lanetta." Case of stranding of ship in ballast, one life lost, is not prepared to say 
what loss of life will justify adoption ot light load line, 1864-1872. 

" Margaret Mitchell." Surveyors may not have seen ship. If they did, did not 
think her unseaworthy; cannot say that underballasted vessels are unseaworthy; 
all a question of d^p^e, 1873-1890. 

Plenty of masters, both in employment and retired, could be found opposed to 
Light Load Line Bill, 1879-1887. 

" Sylviana." Does not like to decisions of Courts of Inquiry, but thinks it 
hard that masters can appeal against decisions of Courts while owners cannot; 
thinks tlat aaseasors may be necessarily inclined in favour of masters, 1891-1896. 

Does not know opinion of surveyors on light load line, but thinks it would put 
them in an awkward position to appear before Committee. Board of Trade would 



Report, 1904 continued. 

Howell, Mr. Walter J., C.B. (Analysis of his Evidence) co-n-tiwued. 

allow any officers to give evidence, but prefers to do it through accredited repre- 
sentation, 1898-1908. 

Manv of vessels lost through insufficient ballast quite small, and would not come 
under Bill, 1909-1915. 

Bill would shift responsibility of safety of vessels, crews, etc., from individual 
owners to Board of Trade, who recognize impossibility of properly supervising 
enormous quantity of shipping, 1917-1922. 

Underwriters' premiums would soon prevent owners from systematically under- 
ballasting, 1923-1927. 

Extent of underbalUsting and relation between owners and masters exaggerated. 
Board of Trade would have known if there had been truth in it, 1929-1937. 

In vessels lost in ballast many other causes may have contributed, 1938-1939. 

As to applying light load line to foreign vessels, it would either be a dead letter 
or cause foreign powers to retaliate on British ships by imposing fresh restrictions 
of their own. 

Important to avoid anything which hampers trade. Deep load line has had that 
effect, 1940-1951. 

Very difficult to fix it practically for different classes of vessels, 1952-1954. 

Surveyors stop overloaded foreign ships as yet no retaliation, 1957-1958. 

Dangerous to interfere any more with foreign shipping, 1959. 

Light load line impracticable as regards it, 1961. 

Suggestion that proper ballasting might be encouraged by giving further reduction 
of tonnage to vessels with larger water-tanks, 1975-1976. 

Ships are sent to sea light, but never dangerously so, 1978. 

A tact that Board of Trade has to pay damages if ship is unnecessarily detained : 
but this just. Very rarely happened, 1979-1980. 

Surveyors are not deterred by this from doing their duty as they only make 
report to detaining officers who have great experience, 1984-1989. 

A warning to masters nearly always sufficient without taking matters further, 

Board of Trade certainly have power to detain under Act, 1996. 

Board of Trade regulations even tend to make surveyors more strict, 2000. 

Examination of accidents alleged to be due to underballasting, 2002-2006. 

And shaft accidents, 2006-2011. 

Kinds of voyages where light load line might act as a restriction, 2012-2113. 

Board of Trade can legally deal with cases in which vessels have been rendered 
unsafe by throwing ballast overboard, 2014. 

Deep load line has prejudically affected British shipping in North Atlantic 
trade, 2015. 

Underballasting certainly is a problem to be solved, 2017. 

Decisions of Courts of Inquiry given in good faith but there is practically no case 
where owners have been proved to have intentionally sent vessels to sea unseaworthy 
from want of ballast, 2020-2025. 

This is punishable with imprisonment and is serious crime. Perhaps a slighter 
penalty might be devised for cases where there is no guilty knowledge, 2027-2031. 

At present there is nothing to meet such case. This explains why no action has 
been taken against owner in these cases, 2027-2031. 

Reduction of tonnage for ballast tanks would be matter for legislation, 

Further reduction would be given for tanks if they were only intended to be used 
for ballast and not for cargo, 2052-2055. 

Would not like to say that masters are never improperly influenced by owners, 


Jinman, Captain George Webster. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Ship's captain, 2557. 

Masters not interfered with by owners, 2560. 

Has never heard questions of underballasting discussed by masters, 2562. 


18 KEN ^-^^ 

liejiorl, 190* eovtinued. 

KtndaU. Captain nonuu Oeorfe. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Superintomlonl Hnd Agent of City of Dublin Steam Packet Company's mail 
erriie t Holvhal Nautical Assessor for High Court of Justice. T)elegate at 
InlaruUonal 'Mftritirne Conference at Washington. A master manner of 4.5 years 
azparience, Kilti 1318. 
BaUast. In course of his duties has seen numbers of ships unfit for sea from under- 
bikllaBting. 131-133. 

Both English and foreign, 1333, 1336, 1339, 1382, 1401-1406. 

Probably 30% of those that come in, 1322-1326. 

lifeboats have to go out to them sometimes, 1379. 

His PTidenee applies in still greater force to light vessels at sea in bad weather 

But they are a great danger to mail service even in Holyhead Bay, 1340, 1372- 

Seafaring men agree that sUte of things should be remedied, 1341. 

Knows no insUuce of ships being endangered through throwing ballast overboard 
before reaching port, 1369, 1407. 

Has never heard of any loss of life from underballastmg, 1381, 1392. 
Molten. Nominally responsible for safety of ship, 1344. 

But have to do owner's bidding, 1344-1346. 

And so cannot order extra ballast without permission, 1347-1348. 

Owners curtail ballast to save expense, 1348-1349, 1405-1409. 

Though it is risky and unwise proceeding, 1344-1345. 

Boiinl of Trade. Difficult for surveyor to detain ships for being light, 1350, 
At any rate they never do, 1354. 
Any fresh regulations could be made applicable to foreign ships, 1410. 

No Boanl of Trade inquiries take place except in the case of very serious damage, 

Light Load Line. Is the only satisfactory remedy, 1343. 

Thinks there are no such regulations in foreign countries, 1383-1385. 

Some discussion alwut it at the Conference in Washington, 1363. 

Insurance companies might check evil, but not so eft'ective as light load line, 

Lirjht Load Line iiaaiy wanted (Moore, Miller, Wood, Loutit, Clement, Bitchbum) ; as 
necessary for .short voyages as long, Moore, 16, 151-155, WilliaTns 2126; and for 
eaaeb m low, Moore 16 ; if it is fixed, should be applied to foreign as well as 
British vessels, J/oorf 99, Miller 188, Wood 284; Question not affected by use of 
wiit-r iMiUast as Italiasi-tanks are often insufficiently filled, Moore 100 ; chiefly needed 
forcUss of vesjw'ls known as "tramps," JIfoore 122; would not prevent shifting of 
!alla8t which would have to be dealt with by special regulations, Moore 128, 176, 
177. . 

Lloyds RepsttT <-<iuld fix it as they did deep load line, Moore 147-150; and no 
roMon they should not be equally successful, Mill-er 212-219, Wood 350-352, Lowtit 
395. Noble 401, Ditehbum 838, McOlaehan 1,590. 

Though many things would have to be considered, i.e., different classes of vessels, 
and different wasons. Wo,>d 312; but. if equitably arranged, would be of ereat value 
Sfaton }70. ftouW/ 1,453. ' o b 

Builders might assist by indicating lowest draught at which ship should sail 
when they hand it over to the owners, Loutit 373. 

Figurcscmild Ik- icst^-il by Board of Trade; other suggestions as to fixing light 
load line. McGMian 1559. Cunn.nj/Aani* 1725. 1735-1736, Melville 1760 1765- 
1767 ; would give great assistance to assessors, Boyes 429 ; and to underwriters and 


L T G LOU 19 

Report, 1904 cmitinued. 

Light Load Line continued. 

surveyors, Seaton 1018 ; and remedy position of masters, Boyes 443-444, Noble 491, 
Maunder 1233, Wyatt 1279 ; and prevent practice of carrying ballast on deck and 
throwing it overboard before reaching port, Clement 745-754. 

Impossible for Board of Trade officers to detain underballasted vessels without 
something like a Ught load line. Miller 190, 211, Wood 299, 325-327, Loutit 
392. Boyes 440-442, 473-474, Noble 491, Clement 766; there was stronger case for 
deep load line. Wood 358 ; and hardly a sufficient case for light load line, Howell 
1790, 1817, Mackay 2178, 2197, Yeoman 2444-2479; owners have begun to 
pay attention to underballasting, Walton 2384-2388 ; due to new type of steel ships, 
Howell 1846-1847 ; this recognised and consequently great diminution of casualties 
during last few years, Howell 1898-1902-1852, Walton 2364; would dislocate trade 
and give a furthur advantage to foreign ships than they already possess from having 
no deep load line, McGlashan 1576-1584, Bekl 2604-2609, Williams 2069, Cimning- 
Jiame 1744, Yeoman 2453, Howell 2015, Cooke 2538 ; impossible to make foreign 
ships amenable to a light load line Act : (if it did affect them, they would retaliate 
on British ships by further restrictions), Howell 1961, 1940-1951, Cooke 2538 ; or to 
arrange it equitably for all classes of vessels, Baxter 2567, McGlashan 1677-1672, 
Yeomen 2456, Cooke 2539, Howell 1853-1856, 1952-1954; owners of smaller 
vessels which cannot take water ballast would suffer greatly, YeoTnan 2469 ; not 
true that detaining officers cannot act under present regulations. Reason why 
there has been no detention for underballasting is that it has never been necessary. 
Warnings from Board of Trade officers etfective enough without further proceedings, 
Howdl 1990-1994; majority of masters now at sea not in favour of it. Yeoman 
2513, 2476, 2479, Douglas 2659, Howell 1879 ; and, in view of attitude of owners to 
underballasting, legislation to be deprecated, Howell 1854 ; majority of losses of last 
few years would not have been saved by operation of a light load line, Howell 1817 ; 
such a Bill would shift responsibility of safety of vessels from owners to Board of 
Trade who recognize impossibility of properly supervising enormous quantity of 
shipping, Howell 1917-1922 ; and statistics of losses misleading, as many of vessels 
were too small to come under a light load line Bill, Howell 1909-1915; suggested 
that question should be left to underwriters, Chaston 619, Seaton 973-1077 ; but 
underwriters think that they would be powerless to check underballasting by 
increased rates in their policies, and, moreover, owing to system of Mutual Under- 
writing Associations not to advantage of owner to underballast with risk of loss, 
Douglas 2619-2632. 

Liverpool Steamship Owners' Assockition. Composition of, Moore 99. 

Lloyds Registry. A voluntary association fixed by no law or charter ; survey ships 
during building and require them to conform to certain rules they lay down, Seaton 
1063 ; also classify ships and survey them continually, Seaton 1067 ; and under- 
writing associations go oy these examinations, Seaton 1069-1070 ; fixed deep load 
Hne, Moore 98-148. 

Loutit, Captain Sinclair. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Four years Nautical Assessor to Home Office, 365. 

Previously 30 years in employment of British India Steam Navigation Company, 

25 years master, 367. 

Agrees to importance of having light load line, 369. 

Ballast. Large number of ships of his company sailed in ballast. 

But they built with cellular-bottomed system. 

And carried water ballast, 370. 

And masters had no difficulty in getting enough ballast, 371. 

Was on inquiry on " Heraclides," 374. 

Case of underballasting. Master not to blame, 374. 

Thinks that owners should have been mulcted in heavy damages, 375. 

As in the case of " Margaret Mitchels " where they neglected to mend a leak, 377. 

Tanks should not be of uniform height. 

If section is carried higher, vessel makes easier weather, 378-379. 

Owners can specify this to builders, 381. 

Legislation wanted chiefly in case of tramps, 382. 
<81 Ind.) C And 

20 LOU M A ( 

Report, 1!)04 amtinufd. 

LoutU, Captain Sinebiir. (Analj-sis of his Evidence) o<MJ<i7Juf. 
And RparaU)ly in case of stcftiners and sailing vessels. 3K9. 
Regulations also to prevent shifting of ballast necessarj', 390. 

Bixtrtl of rrfft//*. Without some kind of light load line suneyore can do nothing, 

Men^hant Shipping Act gives thcni j)owor enough, if they could execute it properly, 

Light LtMtd Live. Builders might, when they turn over ship to owners, indicate lowest 
nraught at which a vessel should sail, 373. 

No more difficulty in fixing it, than in case of deep load line, 395. 

Board of Trade would test builder's figures, 395-399. 

Unscrupulous builders might possibly be able to understate draught for 
economical owners, 40.S-404. 

If this was done, owner and master would certainly have no more responsibility, 

No radical structural alteratioiis can take place after vessel leaves dock, 410. 

Any such change would, of course, be serious matter. 414-418. 


Mackay, Sir Janus Lyle. (Analysis of his Evidence). 

President of Chamber of Shipping of United Kingdom, 21 61 . 

Director of British India Steam Navigation Company, 2162. 

Light load line unnecessary, as onlj' serious loss of life can justify State 

This has not been proved, 2163, 2165, 2197. 

Even had it been, light load line would not stop it. 2163. 

Impracticable to ensure proper ballasting by hard and fast rules. 

There are too many varying circumstances to bo considered, and it would cause 
friction between owners and Government officials. 

It would exonerate owners and masters from responsibility in cases of special 
difficulty and danger, 2164. 

Only fifteen cases of underballasting in ten years. An infinitesimal percentage. 
No loss of life in thase, 2165. 

Ships in ballast have been lost, but other causes may have contributed to mishap, 

Tliougli confidence, as a rule, is felt in C'ourts, assessors may have strong views on 
subject of underballasting and not be strictly impartial, 2167. 

Facts go to prove that danger to underballasted sliip.s camiot be 3o great as 
stated by some of the witnesses, 2168. 

Breakages of propeller shafts have steadily decreased, since their dimensions have 
been enlarged, 2169, 2180. 

And occur as frequently when vessels are in cargo, 2180, 2221. 

Tables of damage since 1899, 2174-2177, 2180. (See Appendix E., Mackay). 

Deep Load Line Bill was passed, as serious loss of life was shown, motives of gain 
made owners overload. 

No such motives can bo alleged to cause underballasting. 

Therefore there is no case for Light Load Line Bill, 2178, 2197. 

If Merchant Shipping Act is not clear about powers of surveyors, should be 

But owners would lose by systematic and serious underballasting owing to damage 
and delay to vessels, 2179, 2197, 2246. 

Not true that masters dare not make representations to owners for fear of 

Owners thankful to receive any suggestion, 2182. 

Light load line would hamper British owners if passed, 21 87, 2209- -^210. 

And it would proljably be inoperative as regards foreign ships. 



Report, 1904 continued. 

Mackay, Sir James Lyle. (Analysis of his Evidence) continued. 

Board of Trade would find it difficult to detain them, as they would not, of course, 
have a mark and there would be nothing to go by, 2187-2194. 

Owners are now endeavouring to give vessels deeper immersion by water-tanks, 

Facts show that they need no regulation to make them do their duty, 2199-2203. ' 

Board of Trade have power to stop too light vessels, 2207-2208. 

If they do not exercise it, it is they who should be stirred up, 2229. 

Has not had much experience of tramps, but would be surprised if they were 
systematically underballasted. in spite of evidence, 2230-2249. 

Light load line wo\ild be much more difficult to fix than deep load line, 

Mason, Mr. George F. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Naval architect and engineer with 30 years' experience, 1162. 

Ballast. Breakage of shafts due to underballasting, 1162. 

Numbers of vessels go to sea with propellers improperly immersed, 1162-1163. 

Masters have sometimes had to resort to running water into their afterholds in 
order to keep off a leeshore. 1164, 1188-1194. 

All due to change in vessel-building in recent years, 1166. 

Owners want the largest possible carrying capacity at the cheapest price, 1179- 
1180, 1196-1199. 

Is in favour of auxiliary tanks, 1166. 

There is real danger in sending ships to sea with insufficient ballast, 1181, 

Some owners recognise danger viz., the " Hercules " and " model shipbuilding," 
1174, 1203-1204. 

Light Load Line. Might be best way of dealing with question, 1187. 


Difficult to get masters, now in employment, to give evidence maybe for fear of 
offending shipowners. Moore 104-105; masters have no longer di.scretionary power in 
matters of ballasting, either in home or foreign ports, as it is unusual for them to be 
part owners of ships in these days of Joint Stock Companies, Wood 321, 339-340; 
not advisable that they should have it, as they might try to economise in ballast, 
Moore 18 \ masters of liners treated well but not masters of tramps. Noble 491; if 
owners had to bear risk, masters would be more consulted ; owners have to 
economise owing to competition, Loatit 338, Ketidail 1344-1345 ; they think it 
worth risk to run ships light, as losses are covered by insurance, MoMnder 1215- 
1238, Wyatt 1279 : masters have no voice in matter of ballasting, and dare not ask 
for more for fear of dismissal. A''oWe 492-493, Ditchhurn 858-859, Maunder 1212- 
1215, Wyatt 1269, Melville 1762-1763; but have legal liability in case of accident. 
Case of " Sylviana," Moore 140-143, Miller 187, 214-218, Maunder 1234-1235, 
Wyatt 1268; and are dismissed if they give evidence in Court prejudicial to 
owners, Miller 187. Wyatt 1298; no action can be taken against owners, even when 
kno^vnto be guilty, as in the case of " Buckingham," TVoorf 285-291 : representatives 
of owners do not admit vmfair treatment of masters, Rohertmn 916, Seaton 1005- 
1008, Real 2169, Coolce 2537, Ginman 2 '60 ; nor have Board of Trade heard of it, 
Hoivell 1927-1937; owners of "Sylviana" deny that they were responsible; as 
vessel was uninsured, master was warned not to u nder ballast ; had on two former 
occasions been given extra ballast on asking. Was refused reference, as he had 
disobeyed orders, Middletun 2682-2691 ; owners do not underballast, because, as 
alleged, they are indifferent to loss of vessel which is insured, Collard 2619 ; on the 
contrarv, most anxious for safety of vessels ; as most insurance is done by mutual 
underwriting a.ssociations, Douglas 2631-2632. (See further under Underwriting.) 

Proof of this, when Recommend^dions were issued in 1899 and 1901, owners co- 
operated heartly with Insurance Associations, Douglas 2633-2635. 

MoMtider, Mr. A. J. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 
A certificated master, 1206-1208. 

Ballast. Impressed by the casualties and loss of life due to underballasting, 1209 

Had no experience of it himself till he joined Bristol Channel service, 1209-1210 
Majority of tramps at sea underballasted, 1216. 

(81 Ind.) c 2 Has 

22 MAS M C G 

Report, 1904 continued. 

UatUn continued. 

Has comnmnded ships unswi worthy from this cause, 1210, 1217-1220. 

They are a great danger and anxiety, 1221. 

Can give no statistics on this subject, 1230. 

Has never known sailors refuse to go to sea in an underballasted ship, 1239. 

MoBtert. In his opinion have no option to make objections to owners, 1212-1215. 

Has known cases in which captains of ships have been punished for unavoidable 
caualtieA., 1234-1235. 

Owners think it worth while running the risk of sending ships out light, 1215, 

Light LcKul Line. In favour of light load line, 1224-1225, 1231. 

Masters are anxious to have it, that they may be freed from responsibility 1233 

Board of Trade. Has the power to detain ships unseaworthy from underballasting, 

Does not make use of it, 1245. 

McGUiaJian, Mr. A. (Analysis of his Evidence). 

Manager to Messrs. William Gray and Company, Limited, West Hartlepool. 

Never been at -sea, 1539-1540. 

Will speak exclusiA-ely as to class of steamers usually called " tramps,' 1543. 

Modern steamers built of steel. 

And of fuller model. 

Machinery lighter. 

And, from economy, owners have stripped vessels of superfluous weight. 

Consequently new vessels require more ballast than old. 

And require more provision for water tanks. 

Lloyds' rules only ensure that vessels should be strongly built. 

Do not deal with ballast capacity, 1544. 

Ves.sels built now with i double bottoms. 

And peak-tanks. 

Owners dislike deep tanks which interfere with cargo capacity, 1545-1547. 

Does not see how matters vnW improve till a neutral authority gives somo 
guidance to shipowners as to ballasting, 1548. 

Large proportion of cargo-ships are liable to be sent to sea with insufficient 
ballasting, 1549. 

But perhaps actual number of underballasted ships not great, 1552. 

Can give no figures, 1554. 

But sufficient number to require change of regulation, 1555. 

A minimum draught line ought to be made on every vessel, 1558. 

Should be about 55 per cent, of load displacement of cargo steamer, 1559. 

Steamers vary, of course, in amount of wat* they displace, 1562-1565. 

Only owners of cargo-vessels might be inconvenienced, 1568. 

High-speeds steamere would not be affected, 1568. 

Owners of steamers that were, would have to go to expense of larjrer water-tanks 

Loose ballast, whether on deck or in bottom of ship, un.satisfactory, 1590. 

System would become obsolete if regulations were made, 1573. 

There has been considerable damage to staimers during last few years owing to 
their being light, 1648-1649. o ^ -e. 

Due to change in constniction of vessels, 1649-1650. 

Errors are l>eing rectified slowly, 1651, 1655, 1657. 

Certainly serious matter to make regulations, unless loss of life is proved, 1652. 

Has heard of no loss of life due to underbaliasting in recent severe gales, 1658. 

Lloyds' register was practically responsible for deep load line. 

Their decision in fixing light load line would command more confidence than 
that of Board of Trade, 1632, 1638. 



Report, 1904 continued. 

McGlashan, Mr. A. (Analysis of his Evidence) continued. 

There is no clause which could be inserted in Merchant Shipping Act which 
would adequately stop underballasting, 1639. 

Light load line the only way, 1640. 

In the same way as without deep load line, there were no detentions for over- 
loading, 1680. 

Board of Trctde. Would have to draw up any new tables and rules, assisted by 
experts from Lloyds and other similar societies, 1566. 

As Merchant Shipping Act now stands, impossible for Board of Trade to detain 
ships, as there is no standard to go by, 1598-1607. 

No doubt they have power, but surveyors cannot tell when ship is unseaworthy 
from underloading by looking at it, 1613. 

Has never heard of a ship being detained, 1614-1615. 

A good many ought to have been, 1616. 

There is no reference in the Act to underloading, as there is no line to go by, 1618. 

One is needed, 1620. 

No surveyor could, at present, take responsibility to detain ships, 1623. 

If he makes mistake. Board of Trade liable for damages, 1624. 

This naturally great deterrent, 1625. 

Light L(Kid Line. Question would have to be thoroughly studied by experts before 
anything decided, 1574-1575. 

Foreign ships have a great advantage in having no deep load line. 
This would happen in lesser degree with light load line, 1576-1588. 
But light load line ought to be as easily arrived at as deep load line,1590. 
Tliere is sufficient cause for ha\nng it. 

But every interest should be considered before finally deciding, 1594. 
And any rules should at first be tentative, 1657. 

Light load line would put owners of small vessels to great expense as water ballast 
cannot be used in wooden vessels, 1667-1672. 

There would, of course, be many exemptions as in case of deep load line, 1673-1689 
Same machinery should be available for light and deep load lines, 1686. 

Melville, Captain William, G. B. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Thirty-five years at sea, retired since 1895. Has been shareholder in steam and 
sailing ves.sel and navigation teacher at Aberdeen, 1736-1751. 

Ballast.M&jjority of accidents due to insufficient or improper ballasting, 1952. 

If a vessel is well ballasted and in good trim is manageable in almost any weather^ 

Underballasting is rife in vessels crossing Atlantic, 1759. 

Is more concerned with sailing ships, 1774-1775. 

Number of losses to these ships may have decreased of late years, 1776-1789. 

Also important that ships when towed should be properly ballasted, 1781. 

Lujht Load Line. One-third ot dead weight capacity ballasts sailing vessels, 1730,. 
1765, 1767, 1772, 1773. 

One-third of gross registered tonnage a tramp steamer. 

Light load line could be laid down on these principles, 1761. 

Modem type of steamer requires more ballast than old, but this should mak& 
them safe, 1764. 
Masters. Go to sea with underballasted vessels as the ballast is provided with owners- 
and superintendents. 

If they complain, are superseded. 

Besides in fair weather want of ballast not telt, 1762-1763. 

Board of Trade surveyors have no power to interfere, 1768. 

Would require co-operation of all interests to make light load line a success, 1768. 

Should be extended to foreigners, 1770. 


24 M E R MIL 

Report. 1903 ran I i i> ned. 

MreaiitUe Marine AM<H-inti(m. Similar body of officers boion^ni; lo Mercantile 
Mftrine, 185; their opinion coincidos with that of Merchant Service Guild. 

Merchttnl Service GuUd. Composed of nearly 10,000 certiticjited (aptaiiia and otticers of 
thti Merchant Service, Moore 1 ; has considere<l carefidly question of underballasting 
OTeriinoe it was initiated in ISttH, Mot)if 3; nieetinj^ attended by officers on active 
aerrioe who are able to estimate dangers of underballasting, Moore 5 : guild wish to 
have question of underballasting fixed by State, Moore 19. 

Merchant Shipping Act, 1894. Boanl of Trade have powers to detain underballasted 
vessels under this Act. Moore 20 : but a clause .should be added to Act, providing 
that insi)cctors should pay special regard to underlwlljisted vessels; it would un- 
doubtedly have goo<l e<!et;t. Miller 201-203; as it is, Board of Trade take no steps to 
prevent unseaworthy vessels lejiving port, and assert that the Act gives them no 
power in the matter. Miller 188-190 ; really they dare not their jwwers, Miller 
191-195 ; as clause stands. Board of Trade can do nothing as there is no standard to 
go by, 3fr(//a/<an 1598-1607 ; under Section 713, Board of Trade can detain ship 
unsoi worthy from any cause whatever, Howell 1784, 19!K). 

Boanl of Trade have never as yet foimd cause to deUiin vessel, and communications 
on subject of underballasting to owners and shipmasters have had goofl effect, 
Hmvell 1785-1788. 

MiddUton, Mr. Richanl Stephenson. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Solicitor practising at Sunderland and member of " Bolam and Co.," 2667. 

Represents owners of " Sylviana." 

Wishes to disprove the statement that owners were responsible for sending vessels 
to sea in an unseaworthy condition. 

Owners had informed master that he was to l)e specially careful to see to this, 

Miles, Captain Datnd. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Forty years' experience at sea. Hold master's certificate. Collector in Liverpool 
for Shipwrecked Mariners' Society, 2139-2141. 

BalhtJtt. Cases of underballasting when ships were unmanageable, 2142-2154. 

The same ves.sels behave all right when loaded, 2150-2153. 

Masters have to agree to amount of ballast fixed by owners and overlookers, 2148, 
2156. will be superseded, 2157. 

Light IaxuI Line. General opinion among masters in Liverpool that it is required, 

As much as was deep load line, 2158. 

More difficult to draw but exports could manage it, 2159. 

Should apply to foreign ships because of competition with British, 2160. 

Miller, Mr. Alexander Allan. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Solicitor practising in Liverpool, and to Merchant Service Guild and Mercantile 
Marine Association ; formerly at sea and has large acquaintance with masters, officers, 
etc., 185. 

Their opinion unanimous that underballasting prevails largely, 185. 
Ships on Atlantic often unmanageable, 187. Cannot give figures, 205-206. 
They are strongly in support of Light Load Line Bill. 
Uiidcrballastcd ships go without mishap till bad weather comes. 
Masters have no discretionary power. 
If they protest liable to dismal by owners. 
In ouses of accident they alone are puni.shed, 187, 214-218. 

If they give evidence in Court prejudicial to owners, they get no more berths, 187. 
Case of " Sylviana," 188, 214-218. 

Law should be altere<l so that responsibility was properly fixed, 188, 198. 
And it should be applied to foreign vessels, 188. 

A clause added to Act providing that inspectors should pay special regard to 
underbal lasted vessels, would have much effect if it worked satisfactorily, 201-203. 



Report, 1904 continued. 

Miller, Mr. Alexander Allan. (Analysis of his Evidence) continued. 

Decisions of Courts have been that a surveyor detains at his own risk, 209 

Consequently they are not anxious to use their power, 209. 

Very difficult for them to do so without a light load line, 211. 

Board of Tnule. Board of Trade take no steps to prevent unsea worthy vessels leaving 
port, 188. 

And assert that Merchant Shipping Act gives them no power to detain vessels in 
this condition, 188-190. 

Nothing will be done till a Light Load Bill is passed, 190. 

There is no case of an inspector preventing a light vessel leaving port, 191-192. 

Board of Trade certainly have powers under Act, but dare not use them, 191-195. 

Has protested against such remissness, but has never taken action against the 
Board, 190-197. 

Captains woidd probablv ballast more efficiently when not under supervision of 
owners, 198-200. 

A light load line could be fixed by a committee of experts, 212. 

And wouldpresumably be as successful as deep load line, 219-223. 

Moore, Mr. Th<)mo.>< Warren. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Assistant Secretarv of Merchant Service Guild. Late Principal of Navigation 
School Fellow of Koyal Geographical Sceicty. lecturer on navigation and 
nautical astrononi}-. etc., 1-2. 

Composition of Merchant Service Guild, 4. 

Guild are of opinion that large numbers of ships go to sea underballasted, 5-6. 
Can give no figures. 7-9. 

Fifteen cases of accident in last three years from this cause, 8-9. 
Several cases of stranding, 11. 

As loss of life has occurred. Guild think that measures should be taken by 
Parliament to find a remedy, 11, 94. 

In 1900 seven British vessels in ballast left port and were never heard of again, 11. 

Many breakages of propeller shafts due to same cause, 1 4. 

Case of the " A.shmore," 14. 

Accidents to machinen,' may and do cause loss of life, 15-16. 

A light load as necessary in long voyages as short, 16, 151-155, and for vessels 
in tow, 16. 

Masters have no longer discretionary power in matters of ballasting, 16. 

Either in home or foreign ports, 17, 166. 

And it is not advisable that responsibility should be left to captains, 18. 

As he might wish to please owners by his economy of ballast, 18. 

Guild wish question of ballasting to be fixed by State, 19, 164. 

Board of Trade under Merchant Shipping Act have powers to detain under- 
ballasted ships for being unseaworthy, 20. 

But they have never done so, 20, 22. 

Without further legislation respon.sibility too great, 20, 21, 164-165. 
Shipowner may claim damages from them if Appeal Court decides in his 
favour, 20, 23. 

Duties of surveyors, 2L 

Procedure of Board of Trade in cases of accident, 27, 33, 133-138. 

Constitution of Court appointed by them, 27-33. 

Confidence felt by masters in assessors, 36. 

Qualifications and position of assessors, 36-42. 

Account of 1.5 accidents due to underballasting, 25-80. 

Those from foreign ports, 25-70. 

Tliose from home ports, 76-80. 

Accidents may also be due to improper ballasting, 63, 96. 


Report, 1904 rontinued. 

Moort, Mr. Tlionuu Warren. (Analysis of his Evidence) continv^d. 

II a light load line is fixed, it shall be applied to foreign as well as British vessels, 

Guild anticipate good results from this, 99. 

Underballnsted ships, not being under control, a great danger to others, 99. 

It has been urged that increased use of water ballast makes light load line 
neoessaiy, 100. 

But water-tanks often insufficiently filled, 100. 

Underballa.sted ships make bad passages. Consequent expense to shipowners, 
104, 160-170. 

Masters unwilling to give evidence in favour of light loatl line for fear of offending 
shipowners, 104-105. 

Captain Pinkey has stated that adoption of light load line would be inevita- 
ble, 106. 

Owing to increase of their navies, deep load line under discussion with foreign 
governments, 106-116. 

Guild infer that they will eventually adopt same measures as British Government, 

Guild have support from all classes of seafaring men. 

It has been suggested that underwriters might charge higher rates and thus 
prevent underbalhvsting ships. 

Guild are of opinion that it is nbt a question to be settled by insurance premiums. 

And shipowners might be constrained to charge higher freights and thus hamper 
trade, 120. 

Light load line would only affect class of vessels known as tramps, 122. 

It would not prevent shifting of ballast, that would have to be met by special 
regulations, 128, 176-177. 

Owners ought to be responsible for on board, but generally leave the blame 
to masters, 131. 

They have to obey owners, but have legal liability, 140-143. 

Deep load line has been success, 144-147. 

Lloyds' Register should have no difficulty in fixing light load line, 147-150. 

Increase of accidents from underballasting in recent years, but Guild have no 
figures,! 56-1 63. 

National Seamen's Fedet-ated Union, Composition of, Clement 717 ; passed resolution 
in favour of light load line, Clement 808-810. 


NoUe, Captain Alexander Greig. (Analysis of his Evidence). 
An extra master. Great experience of all classes of vessels. 

BaUaat. Underballasted ships very dangerous, 477. 

Ships may go light many voyages without mishap, till bad weather comes, 487. 

But ought always to bo ballasted for the worst weather, 488. 

Has come across hundreds of ships unmanageable from want of ballast, 490, 

Cannot give any figures, 491 ; but such cases are very conmion in Black Sea, 

Underwriters do not take any precautions to see that ships are properly ballasted, 

Vessels fitted with ballast-tanks often merely floating balloons, 509. 

Matters. Nominally responsible for proper ballasting, but are not in a position to 
remonstrate with owners, 480-486. 

Treated well in liners, but have hard time in tramps, 491. 

Owners dismiss masrs if they open their mouths, 492-493. 

Of course there are many shipowners of good character, but many also of bad, 
493-499. I ft J , 


NOB K E I 27 

Report, 1904 continued. 

Noble, Captain Alexander Greig. (Analysis of his Evidence) continued. 

Has never heard of masters claiming protection under Merchant Shipping Act, 

Light Load Line. Would do away with friction between shipowners, shipmasters, 
and Board of Trade surveyors, 491. 

Without it, officers afraid to detain ships, for fear of getting into trouble, 491. 

Would work as effectively with shipowners, as Plimsoll mark has done, 491. 

Park, Mr. J", Smith. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Representative of Clyde Steamship 0\vners' Association, 2700. 

Opposed to light load line. 

No loss of life due to underballasting proved. 

Would be great interference to trade, 2704. 

Not only to cargo boats but to liners also. 

Shaft breakage has been prevented by Lloyds' rules, 2705-2708. 

Different line would be required for long and short voyages. 

Shipowners benefit by ballasting properly. 

Double bottoms and deep tanks being more extensively used. 

And where deep tanks too costly or inconvenient, earth ballast, 2707-270S. 

Ballast expensive. 

Light load Une could never be appUed to foreign ships. 

A very large percentage of work done in " ballast " in his company, but can recall 
no instance ot collision, 2709. 

Different classes of steamers would have to be considered. 

No matter how laden, some steamers would not make way in a heavy gale. 

" Planet " ime of Steamers. Consists of " nine " steamers of from 56,000 to 67,000 dead- 
weight, 555-559 ; trade from home to Indian ports or the Cape, Chaston 562. 

Propeller Shafts. 

Breakage of propeller shafts due to under ballasting, as vessels go to sea with 
propellers improperly immersed case of " Ashmore " case of " Sylviana," Wyatt 
1156-1166; such accidents cause danger to human life, Moore 14-15-16, Wood 284, 
Seaton 953-1036-1039, Mason 1162 ; Lloyds had screwshafts enlarged, Seaton 953. 

Statistics of Shaft fractures since 1901. Up to 1902, 75 ; 34 in vessels in ballast, 41 
in vessels in cargo. For six months of 1903,35; 12 in vessels in ballast, 23 in 
vessels in cargo. Shaft breakage therefore less : annoying but nowise dangerous 
Hcmell 1830-1832. 

Strengthening of shafts demanded by Lloyds' rules had salutary effect, Mackay 
2169-2180, Howell 1833-1835, Williams 2083. 

Also examined list of statistics in shipping paper and found 116 cases during last 
year ; out of 62 m foreign ships, 8 in those in ballast ; out of 54 British ships, 8 in 
those in ballast. 

Therefore shaft breakage obviously not due to underballasting, Howell 1836. (See 
also Appendices G. and E). 


Rend, Captain Monro. (Analysis of his Evidence). 

Extra master retired, 1897, 3C00-2601. 
Shipmasters not in favour of light load line, 2604. 

Would put them to frequent inconvenience in the way of loading and unloading, 

English trade would be handicapped and in some places destroyed, 2609. 
(81 Ind.) D Roberts 

23 K O B ROW 

Report, 1904 continued. 

Roberta, Captain Richard David. (Analysis of his Evidence), 

Retired shipmaster, Marino Surreyor at Holyhead, not in employ of Government, 

BalUut.C&n produce list of accidenU duo to ships being light, 223-251. 
Wliich occurred in Holyhead Harlwur, 254, 274. 
Hml they happened at sea, would have been disastrous, 255. 
Numbers of ships go to sea undorballasted, 258. 
Accidents of this nature chiefly strandings, 259. 
Capsizings rare, 260. 

Knows no cases when loss of of life had occurred, 262. 
Only light vessels drag their anchors, 263. 

Board of Trade. Knows no case when a vessel has been detained for being under- 
ballasted. 253, 275. 

Does not like to say whether, in his opinion, vessels in his Ust should have been 
detained, 268. 

Robertson, Captain Jamieaon. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Late master mariner of 20 years' experience. Practises now as marine surveyor, 
878-880. Can give evidence as to lour ships, 881 ; but no cases of insufficient 
ballasting, speaks simply of his own practice in such matters, 888 ; and merely with 
r^[ard to sailing vessels, 895. 

Ballast. Vessels under his command were safe in all weathers, if ballasted to half the 
register, 899 ; except the " Carlisle Castle," 900. 

In case of lighter built vessels this measui-e might be inadequate ; as such vessels 
are now on the increase it would bo better that the ratio of ballast should be to the 
dead-weight than the registered tonnage, 907, 912, 914. 

Never used water-ballast himself, 926 ; subject to many disadvantages, 927 > 
useful for steam ships but not for sailing vessels, 927. 

Has thrown his ballast out before reaching port, but only when vessel was in 
absolute safety, 927-932, to save expense of haulage, 933. 

Maders. Knows no instance himself of unfair treatment by owners of masters, 916. 

Light Load Line. In favour of light load line, 914. Masters still go on with old 
measurements with regard to ballast; vessels are altering and a load line should be 
settled by an expert committee to meet all new requirements, 915. 

Underwriters. Underwriters would be powerless to remedy the evil as competition 
would prevent them, 918-921. 
They would not be competent to lay down any conditions, 924-951. 

Rowell, Mr. Herbert. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Naval architect builds tramps and vessels in Australian and American trades 

Modem ships built different fi"om older ones. 

Shipowners require more economical ships. 

Hence increase of beam in relation to length. 

And development of length in Atlantic bo.ats, 1421, 1496-1501. 

And consequent damage to structure of ship if light, 1421, 1449. 

Evidence refers to " intermediate " type of steamers, 1422. 

Ballast. Modem ships have small grip of water, 1 426. 
And require more careful ballasting, 1427. 

Owners have tried to meet question by increase of ballast, 1433, 1435. 
But there is the question of expense, 1438-1439. 
Plans have been devised to use extra water ballast, 1440-1442. 
Does not know about loss of life caused by underballasting, 1436. 
But has seen many unmanageable ships on the Tyne, 1443. 
And has had cases of repair, 1450. 

Docki dues might suffer, but that would be a small price to pay for other 
advantages 1459-1463. 



Report, 1904 continiied. 

Rowell, Mr. Herbert. (Analysis of his Evidence) continued. 

Thinks there is no Ught load line in use in foreign countries, 1464. 

Nor is the Plimsoll mark compulsory for them, 1463-1470. 

Small vessels in coasting trade would benefit equally by light load line, 1471-1474. 

It would be most difficult to adjust in vessels of tramp class, 1484. 

And most easy in those classed " intermediate," 1491. 

Light Load Line. Ships ought not to be allowed to proceed to sea till they have 
certain draught, 1452. 

Regulations about ballasting impracticable to effect this, 1454, 1457, 

Idea of light load line to be encouraged, 1453. 

As it would not, like ballasting regulations, lay a great part of merchant fleet 
idle, 1454^1458, 1475-1476. 

Though no doubt a temporary inconvenience just as deep load line was, 

Tonnage compensation for ballast tanks should be given to owners, 1453-1458. 


Beaton, Mr. Albert Edward. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 
Civil Engineer, naval architect, etc., etc., 947. 

Ballast. Modem ships much lighter built than old ones, 948, 991. 

In order that their dead-weight carrying capacity may be as large as possible, 948. 

Much more ballast therefore required to render them seaworthy, 950. 

Too little frequently provided, 950. 

Lloyds found that increasing breakages of screw shafts were due to vessels leaving- 
port underballasted, 953, 1036-1039. 

As system of going to sea light could not be abated, screw shafts had to be 
enlarged, 953. 

Impossible to state when a ship becomes safe to navigate ; but should be in proper 
trim and properly immersed, 967. 

Ought to be managed without compulsion, but it must be used if necessary, 970, 

Friction might arise between harbour masters and owners of vessels if reduction, 
of tonnage were claimed for larger ballast tanks, 972, 1080-1083. 

But vessels in ballast should certainly be allowed reduction in rates and dues, 

Foreign ships have an advantage over EngUsh as they are bound by no regulations, 

Does not know if this prevents sailors joining them, 985. 

Knows neither the comparative loss of foreign ships from insufficient ballasting, 
Nor the rate of insurance on them, 1007. 

But thinks that any regulations could be applied to them, 1047. 
Underballasting is increasing, not decreasing, as freights are so bad, 1053. 
Any extra regulation might certainly increase the cost, 1054. 

Underwritings. Might do something by making exceptions in their policies to ships, 
improperly loaded, 973, 1077. 

Insurance societies all hang together and their influence covers practically the 
ships sailing all over the world, 1066-1076. 

Bureau Veritas and Lloyds have a licence to fix light load line, 1072. 

Light Load Line. A light load line would be a good thing if it could be arranged 
equitably to all sorts of ships, 970. 

Would not be necessary to consider all classes of vessels in fixing it : rule would 
probably act automatically, 1004. 
It would fjacititate duties of underwriters and surveyors, 1018. 
(81- Ind.) d 2 Masters 

no SEA U N D 

Report, 1904 continutd. 

Seaton, Mr. Albert Edtcard. (Analysis of his Evidence) ccnUinued. 

Matter*. In his company, master a free agent, 1005. 

Believes that this, however, is not always the case, 1005, 1008. 

Board of Trade, No surveyor would Uke upon himself to detain an improperly 
loaded ship, 1012. 

Because he would bo personally liable, 1013, 1014. 

'Thom}y8on, Mr. James. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

In case of " Sylviana " propeller blades were stripped oflF by some object floating 
in the water, not owing to racing of screw, 2694-2699. 

Trail, Captain. (Analysis of his evidence.) 

Survevor of Board of Trade. Principal detaining officer in South Wales. 
Stationecl at Cardiff, 2264-2267. Formerly master mariner 21 years at sea, 2339- 

Boanl of Trade. Has power under section of Act to detain ships on account of 
underballasting, 2268, 2275. 

Has neither done it himself, 2269. 

Or knows of case in which it has been done, 2270. 

Has had no cases of underballasting reported to him by his surveyors, 2271. 

Ships under their observation chiefly tramps, 2273. 

Would detain a ship if improperly and underballasted, but not an easy thing to 
decide. 2274. 

Prefers to warn a man in both cases of over and under-loading, 2290-2297. 

But, as a matter of fact, has never had occasion to, 2297-2302, 2323-2325. 

Board of Trade surveyors see every vessel leaving port with only a few exceptions, 

Underballasting. Does not think that large numbers of ships go to sea under- 
ballasted, 2279-2280. 

Owners too anxious to make good passages, 2279. 

Has never heard, in conversing with masters, if their opinion is in favour of new 
regulations, 2281-2283, 2318-2322. 

Vessels arriving at ports under his observation often have empty tanks, but there 
is no danger as water is smooth, 2284-2289. 

And surveyors would not pay attention to them, 2328. 

No necessity for light load line, as owners are recognising necessity for ballast in 
new types of ships, 2276, 2305-2309. 

Should not like to say whether improperly ballasted ship is unseaworthy, but 
knows that vessels have made bad passages from this cause, 2309-2314. 

A well-ballasted ship always seaworthy, 2314-2317. 

Underwrit ing. 

Suggestions by several witnesses that underwriters might stop underballasting by 
refusing policies unless satisfied that vessels were properly ballasted, Seaton 973, 
1077, Moore 120. 

This imjwssiblc, underwriters not competent to tell how a vessel is ballasted, 
Robertson 924, 925 ; and competition also makes it impossible. If one firm refused, 
another could always be found by owners of vessel, Robertson 918, 921 ; other 
witnesses asserted that owners are indifferent to loss of vessel, because they are 
<'ovcred by insurance, and that economy is regarded rather than safety, Reid 2619 ; 
this not true, shipowners insure largely by Mutual Underwriters' Associations losses 
increase cost of insurance : by losing a vessel owner loses part of business and 
investors liable to withdraw money, Douglas 2632 ; it is to advantage of owner to 
liallast properly as a ship quicKly gets bad name with insurance companies, 
Yvomnn 2516 ; insurance premiums on tramp vessels lessened lately, Yeomait, 2475. 


U N D W I L 31 

Report, 1904 continued. 

' Underwriting continued. 

Insurance companies have done their utmost in publishing "Recommendations to 
Shipmasters," which are largely read. 

Owners showed their anxiety to stop underballasting by co-operating heartily, 
Douglas 2633-2634. 

Mutual Underwriting Associations System of, explained; advantage to owners to 
have as few losses as possible, Bou^las 2631. 

* W 

Walton, Mr. Thomias. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Shipwright surveyor in Sunderland under Board of Trade. Not a detaining 
officer, 2342-2345. 

Description of duties, 2346-2350. 

Besides him, two engineer surveyors, but no master surveyors in Sunderland, 

Has never seen a vessel arrive obviously underballasted, 2353. 

Owing to Sunderland being coal port, few ships go out in ballast, 2354. 

Has seen ships so ballasted that they might be unmanageable in a heavy gale. 

But not sufficiently bad to report, 2356-2357. 

Ballast tanks often emptied before reaching port, 2358. 

Ships being built are being fitted with deep midship tanks in addition to double 
bottoms, and even old ships are being similarly refitted. 

One-third of deadweight generally adopted for water ballast, 2360-236S. 

Danger arising from underballasting consequently on the decline, 2364, 2365, 

Has never had master complain of his ship being underballasted, 2366. 

Ships are generally ballasted to be seaworthy, 2368. 

Impossible that an unseaworthy ship should sail while his report is being 
considered by detaining officer, 2369, 2373. 

Midship deep tanks introduced owing to expense from delayed voyages, not from 
danger to life, 2373-2378. 

Speculative steamers built without deep tanks difficult to manage, and owners are 
beginning to recognise this, 2384-2388. 

Are not necessarily dangerous because unmanageable, 2390-2391. 

Vessels should be properly ballasted ; owners object to midship tanks, because 
they interfere with cargo ; but if properly filled, longitudinal bulkhead could be 
done away with, 2400. 

Has no recollection of accident to an underballasted vessel from his port, but few 
vessels in ballast go out, 2402-2406. 

Minimum draught should be 50 per cent, of deep load draught, and recommenda- 
tion to this effect to owners would be more useful than a line. 

Registration societies could do this, 2410, 2415, 2429-2435. 

Light load line would not be necessary in this case ; could be easily accomplished ; 
does not know if vessels are ballasted thus now, 2416-2425. 

Washington International Maritime Conference. Did not discuss load lines, but 
principally "rule of the road," Kendall 1363-1364. 

Williams, Mr. W. A. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Underwriter. Member of Committee of Liverpool Underwriters' Association. 
Has been Chairman. Also Member of Committee of Lloyds' Register Classification 
Society, 2061-2062. 

Ballast. Well known that many vessels are sent to sea underballasted and many 
accidents consequently take place. 

From 1897 to 1902 sixteen Board of Trade enquiries took place. 

11 of these accidents found to be due to underballasting, 5 to shifting of ballast. 

Number not large, but all preventable. 


32 W I L WOO 

Report, 1904 e<mtinued. 

WiUiams, Mr. W. A. (Analysis of his Evidence) continued. 

Legislation theroforo necessary, 2063-2064. 

Underwriters powerless to chock underballasting by insurance policies, as 
oggeBted, 2077-2078. 

Competition forbids idea. 2078, 2079-2082. 

Lloyds' Register did insist on strengthening of shafts, 2083-2086. 

But underballasting could not be treated in same way, 2087-2090. 

There has been decrease of accidents of late years, 2099. 

Rules have been issued by Insurance Association warning shipmasters against 
evils of underballasting, improper ballasting, etc., but thev desire to ingratiate them- 
selves with owners, and therefore economise by underballasting, 2129. 

In case of loss, owner insured, 2135. 

As underballastod vessels make bad passages, certainly to advantage of owner to 
ballast properly, 2134. 
But they run risk of underballasting as ballast is expensive, 2136. 

Light Load Z^tw. Underwriters approve of it, not from private but public motives, 


If passed, a clause should be inserted providing that ballast should be properly 
secured, 2065, 2101, 2137. 

Board of Trade could describe the manner. 

Otherwise vessels might suffer worse, if additional ballast was unsecured, 2067. 

Shipowners wish that any regulations may be applied to foreign ships, 2068, 

Great injustice has been done in this way by deep load line, 2069. 

Would be more difficult to fix than deep load line, 2073. 

Difficulties not insuperable, 2074. 

Trade at present bad, 2091-2092. 

But good times will come and fresh regulations will not hamper trade, 2093. 

Has no idea what expense to owners they would cause, 2102-2104. 

Only a Committee of Experts could lay down light load line, 2113-2119. 

It would be necessary to impose a different line for summer and winter. 

But no attention should be paid to length of voyages. 

Coasting voyages nearly as dangerous as oversea voyages, 2126. 

Light load line and new regulations as to improper ballasting the only way to 
minimise mischief, 2137. 

Board of Trade. Surveyors cannot detain ships under present Act, 2072, 2075. 

Liable to damages, if thev stop a ship, and the Court finds them in the wrong, 

Wood, Captain Alexander. (Analysis of his Evidence.) 

Nautical Assessor. Appointed by Home Office ; 23 years' experience at sea. 
Holds post in Dundee Navigation School, 277-280. 

Attends Board of Trade enquiries in England and Scotland. 

Composition of courts of enquiry in each country, 281. 

BoiliuL Considers light load line urgently required. 
Masters no longer large shareholders in vessel. 
Ballasting controlled by owners. 
Who underballast on the score of economy. 

Except, while towing, sailing ships not so underballasted as steamers. 
But when underballasted, are equally dangerous. 
Underballasted steamers may go well till they meet bad weather. 
Hence temptation to send them light to sea, 282. 
Case of" Sylviana " ; vessel unmanageable. 
Propeller blades carried away owing to excessive racing, 284. 
Any new regulations should bo made applicable to foreign vessels, 284, 


woo W Y A 33 

Report, 1 904 continued. 

Wood, Captain Aleaxmder. (Analysis of his Evidence) continued. 

Though owners were responsible for ballasting a vessel, no action taken against 
them. Case of " Buckingham," 285-291. 

linows no case in which Board of Trade Surveyor has detained a light vessel, 292. 

It would be a difficult matter. 

Many witnesses could be found in support of owners. 

As many ships which are underballasted make good passages, 293-297. 

All vessels ought to be ballasted to meet bad weather, 298. 

There are great numbers of underballasted ships at sea, 304. 

Has sat probably on a hundred cases in 10 years, 327. 

Many cases of underballasting, 331. 

Can give no figures, 336. 

But imdoubted increase of late years, 334. 

Masters. Joint Stock Companies have altered their position, 282, 317. 

Under the present system they are compelled to consult owners' wishes, 319-320. 

Or lose their situation, 321. 

Owners should either have entire responsibility, 322. 

Or a proper scientific load line laid down, 323. 

If owners had to bear risk, masters would be more consulted, 338. ; 

Owners have to ballast 6heaply out of competition, 338. 

Masters have as little power in foreign as home ports, 340. 

And have practically no voice in the matter, 339. 

Light Load Line. A difficult question. Board of Trade inspectors should certainly 
have strong rules to go by, 299. 

Board of Trade should collect evidence as to behaviour of ships, 300-302. 

Vessels of different classes would have to be considered, 309. 

Also the different seasons of the year, 310. 

It would be difficult, but possible, to draw up suitable regulations, 312. 

Practically as easy of achievement as as deep load line, 350. 

Thinks that Lloyds' Register would be prepared to advise Board of Trade, 352. 

Has no special information on the subject, 353. 

Undoubtedly a danger that it would relieve owners of responsibility, 354. 

There was no doubt stronger case for deep load line, 368. 

But there is need for light load line too, 358. 

Same machinery should be applicable to both, 360-363. 

Board of Trade. Underballasted vessels should be stopped. 

A definite set of rules for guidance of inspectors should be drawn up. 
Under present system they are afraid to exercise their powers, 325-327. 
Is not familiar with procedure in cases of detention, 342-344. 
May be that surveyors are soon reUeved of responsibility in matter, 345. 
Fact remains, that vessels are not detained, 345. 

Probable that master and surveyor would arrange matters between them without 
bringing case into Court, 363. 

Wyatt, Mr. John Shears. (Analysis of his Evidence). 

Formerly a master mariner. 15 years' experience. 

Ballast. Evidence as to stranding of " Sylviana." 

Unmanageable from want of ballast. 

Obliged to flood afterholds. 

Propeller blades stripped, 1156-1166. 

Has .seen numbers of ships unmanageable from this cause, 1259, 1260, 1263, 1307. 

Considerable danger in sending ships to sea light, 1264. 

Practice increasing owing to change in construction of vessels, 1275 

Also^eat risk in carrying extra ballast ou deck, 1260. 


34 W YA YEO 

Report, 190-1 ccmtinued. 

Wyatt, Mr. John Shsan. (Analysis of his Evidence) eontlnv^. 

And then throwing overboanl to save haulage in port, 1309-1313. 
No difficulty in getting men for undorballasted ships, 1281. 
Ma8ter.has met many who droad command of undorballasted ships, 1270^1271. 
Owners pay no attention to protests. 1269. 

Because ship-s generally get through safe, and any loss covered by insurance, 1279. 
Responsibility all thrown on nia.stors, 12()8. 
Though absolved from blame by the Court, 1285, 1302. 
Dismissed by owners of " Sylviana ", 1283-1290. 1298. 
And refiised reference. 1287. 1301. 
Has never had another berth on North Sea Coast, 1289. 
His not the only case. 1292. 
Captains must toke their chances in unseaworthy vessels, 1294. 

Light Load Zin*. Would remove unfair responsibility from masters, 1267. 
Better than indirect ways suggested. 1293. 

Teoman, Mr. Francis. (Analysis of his Evidence). 

Shipbroker at West Hartlepool and manager of steamers, of large experience 
Secretary to Hartlepool Shipowners' Society, 2440. 

Light Load Line. 208 steamers belong to Society. All cargo boats, 2441. 

Therefore question of light load line of great interest to Society^ 2442. 

Gave evidence before Royal Commission on deep load line, but certain there is- 
no similar neccessity for a light load line, 244 k 

Would be like deep load line a dead letter as regards foreign ships, 24'48, 2479- 

After that enactment 136 registered vessels sold to foreigners, and 30 steamers, 
now restored in Hartlepool, sail under foreign flags, 2449, 2482. 

Thus considerable dislocation of trade and loss of public confidence caused by it. 

Similar state of things would follow adoption of light load line, 2453. 

English shipping labours under disabilities from deep load line, 2508-3510. 

And never found difficulty in getting masters for his steamers, 2514 

Greatly to advantage of owners to ballast properly, 2515. 

A ship quickly gets a bad name with insurance companies, 2516. 

Society considers it impossible to adopt a permanent and satisfactory minimum 
standarcl of loading, 2456. 

According to Board of Trade returns small proportion of fatalities to steamers in 
ballast, 2460. 

Analysis of accidents to steamers iu ballast, 2461-2463. 

Statistics of foreign and English shipping, 2464, 2468. 

If light load lino were passed, tramps would be abliged to take- material 
ballast on short voyages, or bo adapted to watorballast tanks, 2469. 
Cost of this prohibitive, 2470. 

Not necessary for tramps to be heavily ballasted on coasting voyages, 2473-2474. 
Insurance premiums on tramp vessels lessened lately, 2475. 

Because owners have begim to adapt themselves to new type of ship and new 
ballast adequately, 2476-2479. 2486. 

Has heard no wish among masters for light load line, 2513. 

Ballast. Deep tanks not popular wth owners of ordinary cargo ships as they interfere 
with carrjring capacity, 2487. 

Has never heard of undorballasting contributing to collision, 2493. 

Statistics of loss of life in ballasted vessels smaller than in vessels with cargo, 
2495. ^ 

Danger to life from undorballasting small, if any, 2502. 

Majority of vessels properly ballasted. 2503. 

Brou/fht from the Lords, 14 August 1903. 

E E P O K T 










Session 1908. 

Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed, 
14 Au(/ust 1903. 




By WYMAN & SONS, Limited, Fetter Lane, E.O. 

And to be purcuased, either directly or through any Bookseller, from 

rRE & SPOTTISWOODE, East Harding Street, Fleet Stekbx, E.C.; and 

32, Abingdon Street, Westminster, S.W, ; or 

OLIVER and BOYD, Edinburgh ; or 
S. PONSONBY, 116. Grafton Street, Dublin. 



[ ii ] 



tOI uL 

p. Ill 

REPORT - p. V 



APPENDIX p. 165 

[ iii ] 


Die Martis, 24 Februarii 1903. 
Light Load Line. Moved, That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire and report 

1. Whether, and if so, to what extent British ships are sent to sea in an unseaworthy 

condition by reason of their being insufficiently or improperly ballasted ; 

2. Whether any amendment or amplification of the present law is desirabk in connection 

therewith ; 

3. If so, to what extent any such alteration of the law could be made equally applicable 

tD foreign vessels ; 

(The Lord Wolverton) ; agreed to ; and ordered accordingly ; 

The Lords following were named of the Committee : 

Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Muskerry. 

Lord Wolverton 
Lord Brassey. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

The Committee to meet on Thursday next at Twelve o'clock, and to appoint their ^OA\-n 

Die Jovis, 26" Februarii 1903. 
Light Load Line. The Lord Shand added to the Select Committee. 

Die LuHie, 9" Martii 1903. 

Light Load Line. The evidence taken before the Select Committee from time to time to 
be printed, but no copies to be delivered out except to Members of the Committee, and to such 
other persons as the Committee shall think fit, until further order. - -: 



a 2 

[ i^ J 

E E P O R T. 


BY THE SELECT COMMITTEE appointed to Inquire and Report- 

1. Whether, and, if so, to what extent British Ships are sent to Sea in 

an unseaworthy condition by reason of their being insufficiently or 
improperly ballasted ; 

2. Whether any amendment or amplification of the present Law is 

desirable in connection therewith ; 

3. If so, to what extent any such alteration of the Law could be made 

equally applicable to Foreign Vessels. 


That the COMMITTEE have met and considered the subject referred 
to them, and have examined many witnesses. 

1. The Committee are informed that many British ships, both steamers 
and sailing vessels, are sent to sea in ballast. Such ships mainly belong to 
the class of vessels known as " Tramps," i.e., cargo boats trading anywhere 
and everywhere, in distinction to Liners which trade regularly between two 

2. The Committee find that many ship-masters and engineers consider 
that some vessels when sent to sea in ballast are unseaworthy because 
they are insufficiently ballasted, although the feeling upon the subject 
seems by no means to be unanimous. 

3. Several have urged that ships when insufficiently l)allasted q. joo 156 161, 
are dangerous, and attribute accidents to the machinery in steamers to 240, 479, .575, 604^ 
the fact that the propellers of vessels in ballast are not sufficiently 970, 1038, 1162. 
submerged, by reason of deficiency of ballast. 

4. But although for various reasons the practice of sending ships to sea in y. 1792-1793. 
ballast seems to be increasing, the Committee find from the evidence which Q- 262, 672, 688, 
they have received and from the Board of Trade statistics that there has ?q^Q^*^g'qr^;,?fio' 
been no serious loss of life on ships in ballast, as compared with such loss 2253' 2495' 2502' 
in the case of vessels sailing with full cargoes, and that accidents to the 2529' 2536' 2704! 
machinery in .such ships are decreasing. Q. 1830 - 1832, 

The Committee attribute this decrease in accidents to the machinery in 2477' ' 
steamers very largely to the action taken by Lloyd's Register, on the 
recommendation of a Special Committee which sat some three years ago, Q. 952, 962, 
to devise means to prevent the large number of breakages to screw shafts 
which were alleged to be due to the under-ballasting of ships. On the 
advice of this Committee, Lloyd's altered their rules with regard to the 
size and strength of propeller shafts. The results of this policy seem to 
have been most satisfactory, judging from the large decrease in the number Appendix E. 
of accidents to propellers anU snafts since 1899 

The Connnittee are informed by Mr. Howell, c.b., an Assistant 
Secretary of the Board of Trade, on the authority of statistics q j^,,^ 
produced, that of the total tonnage which cleared at the various ports 
in the United Kingdom in 1902, 32 J per cent, was in ballast, as 
against 67^ per cent, with cargo ; and that whereas of the vessels totally 
lost in the 17 vears ending on the 30th June 1901, 17 per cent., as against 

[ vi ] 

0. 179C. na jKU- cent., were in halliist ; of the tonnage totally lost, 13 per cent., as 87 jjer cent, wa.s in ballast, and of the seamen lost, 10 per cent, as 

against 90 per cent., were lost from ships in ballast 
Q. 1798. The average annual number of seamen lost from all kinds of merchant 

ve.s.sels belonging to the United Kingdom in the 17 years ending on the 

30th June 1902, was 988, and the average number of lives lost from 

vessels in ballast was 99. 
Q- 1*01. During the last year there has been a decided diminution in the number of 

lives lost from vessels in ballast, and only three vessels in ballast have been 

mi.ssing during the last two winters. 

5. It cannot, therefore, be said to be proved that vessels in large numbers 
are linseaworthy because wanting in ballast. While such vessels are 
Q. 1804 undoubtedly difficult to manage in rough weather, the number of accidents 

seems to be smaller in proportion than to ships in cargo. 

Q. 96, 429, 745, (}. Several witnesses have pointed out that many accidents are caused by 

928 1260 1309 ^^^ improper ballasting of ships. They have called attention to the 

152*2, 1570 2064! '1''^"^^''^ caused, first, by not securing loose ballast in the hold, and secondly, 

2099^ 2101.' b\- a practice that prevails of throwing overboard loose ballast which is 

taken on board to make up for insufficient under-deck ballast, and is kept 

on deck. Such loose ballast is often thrown overboard before the ship 

arrives in port. The object of this practice is to prevent any unnecessary 

delay in the taking in of cargo. 

The Committee, in view of the evidence which they have received with 
regard to the danger caused by the shifting of under-deck ballast, recommend 
that regulations as to secruing ballast should be drawn up and enforced by 
the Board of Trade. They also deprecate most strongly the practice of 

Q ^i,j^ throwing over ballast before a vessel arrives at her destination, and would 

advise the Board of Trade to issue a Avarning, not only to shipmasters, but 

Q. 282, 299 369, fils<> to shipowners who give orders to this effect. 

387, 523, 72o! 

Q?l' lofi?' ^Vi.l' " ^^^^y witnesses have urged the desirability for the definition by the 

145*3 1538 1558* I-^gislature of what constitutes sufficient ballast, and have pointed out that 

I612! I73i', n&i, the establishment of a compulsor}^ Light Load Line, on the analogy of the 

2059, 2077, 2131, Load Line, would be the best method of effecting this pm'pose. 

2137, 2142, 2158. 

Q. 347, 429, 458, 8. Such a line could no doubt be fixed upon vessels, but it would be a 
1003-1004 16.5'^ matter of considerable difficulty to decide upon, as the line would naturally 
1855, 2456, 253'j! ^^^^e to vary upon different types of ships. Consideration would also have 

to lie given to the length of the voyage and to the trade upon which a vessel 

was engaged. 

The Committee would also point out that a Light Load Line, although it 
ti. 71-72. might prevent the insufficient loading of a ship, would be no real protection 

against improper loading. 

^284, 1042, 9. The advocates of a Light Load Line have laid stress upon the point 
1769* 2068* '>i2o' '^^'^^ if such a line is made compulsory on British shipping, it must be applied 
2160I 2538! " " ' t'<iually to foreign ships. 

10. It must be remembered, however, that, although Board of Trade 
Surveyors can prevent foreign ships sailing from British ports if they appear 
to be too heayily laden, the regulation with regard to the marking of the Deep 

]1^>59'^''W)1 ^"mr" ^^^'^ ^^^^ ^''^^^ ^^^ ^PPb' to foreign vessels, and it would, therefore, be 
2479!' '" ' extremely difficult under existing conditions to compel foreigners to adopt a 
Light Load Line. 

ti, 1600, 1943, The Committee feel that it would be unwise to put any further legislative 
2093, 2709. restrictions upon British ships which coidd not equally be applied to foreign 

vessels, unless it could be proved that such restrictions were absolutely 

necessary for the safeguarding of Inunan life. 

Q._ 972, 1453, 11. It has been suggested that .some advantage might be given in the way of 
'*'*' reduction of tonnage to owners of vessels who allow more space for efficient 

o '>03' '^)2 ^''iter balla:?ting in their ships. Such special reduction in tonnage could 

[ vii ] 

not be effected without legislation. The Committee consider that the 
suggestion is open to various difficulties and objections, and are not 
prepared to recommend its adoption. 

12. It has been proved to the satisfaction of the Committee that the large Q- P]^' J433, 
majority of shipowners' are alive to the necessity of properly ballasting their J^ye' 2307* ^383* 
.ships in order to insure their making speedy voyages. It has been stated in 2400! 2478^ 2515' 
evidence without much difference of opinion that modern freight ships, 2635, 2707. 
owing to changes in build, size, and material, require more ballast than 

vessels of an older type. The Committee are of opinion that shipbuilders Q- 1'^^' ^''O, 588, 
and naval architects are aware of this fact and fully realise the importance ,gg; ' ' 
of allowing increased space for water ballast in the modern type of steamer 
to secure stability when the vessel has no cargo on board. 

13. The Committee are therefore unable to recommend the adoption of a 
Light Load Line, because in their opinion there has been no loss of life, such 
as was proved to exist when the Deep Load Line became law, sufficient 
to justify legislation of this restrictive character which would of necessity 
press hardly upon shipowners. 

14. It has been pointed out that the Board of Trade Detaining officers, ^^i^^'^I^^' i^^' 
although they frequently warn owners and masters whose vessels appear to 324' 345' 399' 
be improperly or insufficiently ballasted, have never actually detained ships 420,' 463*, 491* 
sailing in ballast. A doubt has in consequence arisen as to whether the 799, 1012-1013, 
Board of Trade, under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, have j^**' i^lf?"!^,!' 
the right to detain vessels when insufficiently ballasted. ^785* 2737' 2072' 

2274^ 2300[ 2373! 

15. The Committee, however, consider that the Board of Trade have 2422. 
power under the Merchant Shipping Act to detain any British br foreign 
vessel from sailing in an unsafe condition. The Committee have received 
important evidence from Mr. W. J. Howell, c.b., an Assistant Secretary of the 
Board of Trade and Chief of the Marine Department, and find that the 
Board, whilst strongly opposed to any fresh legislation at the present time, 
believing that the evil of underballasting is being done away with, yet 
consider that it is possible to make further improvements in the ballasting 

of ships. 

The Committee therefore confidently rely upon the Board of Trade to use 
the powers already conferred upon them by Parliament to prevent the 
improper or insufficient ballasting of ships. It will be the duty of the 
Board to apply at once to Parliament if at any future date they consider 
any extension of their powers necessary in the public interest. 

22 Mav 1903. 

r viii ] 

[ ix ] 


Die Jovis, 26 Febrnarii 1903. 


Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Muskerrj'. 
Lord Wolverton. 

Lord Brassey. 
Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclvde. 

The Order of Reference is read. 

It is moved, That the Earl Spencer do take the Chair. 

The same is agreed to. 

It is moved, That this Committee be an open one. 

The same is agreed to. 

The Course of Proceedings is considered. 

Ordered, That the Committee be adjourned till Monday, the 9th o\ March, at Twelve o'clock. 

Die Lunce, 9"' Martii 1903. 


Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Muskerry. 
Lord Wolverton. 

Lord Brassey. 
Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

Tlie Earl Spencer in the Chair 

The Order of Adjournment is read. 

The Proceedings of the 26th of February are read. 

The following Witnesses are called in, and examined, viz. : Mr. Thomas Wan-en Moore, Mr. 
Alexander Allen Miller, Captain Richard David Roberts, Captain Alexander Wood, and Captain 
Sinclair Laatit (vide the Evidence). 

Ordered, That the Committee be adjourned till To-morrow, at Twelve o'clock-. 

Die Martin, 10" Martii 1903. 


Lord Muskerry. 
Lord Wolverton. 
Lord Brassey. I 

Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

The Earl Spencer in the Chair. 

The Order of Adjournment is read. 

The Proceedings of yesterday are read. 

The following Witnesses are called in, and examined, viz. : Read-Admiral G. T. E. Boyes, 
Captain Alexander Greig Noble, Mr. Edward Catmore Chaston, Mr. David Clement, Oapitain 
Joneph Alfred Ditchburn, and Captain Jameson Robertson. {Vide the Evidence.) \::w"'"'l 

Ordered, That the Committee be adjourned till To-morrow, at Twelve o'clock. ' 



Die Mernii-ii, 11" Martu 1903. 


Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Muskerry. 
Lord Wolverton. 

Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

The Earl Spencer in the Chair. 

The Order of Adjournment is read. 

The Proceedings of yesterday are read. 

The foUowins; Witnesses are called in, and examined, viz. : Mr. Albert Edward Seaton, M.i.c.E., 
Captain Henry Lewis Beynon, Mr. George F. Mason, Mr. A. J. Maunder, and Mr. John Shears 
WyaU. ( Vide the Evidence.) 

Ordered, That the Committee be adjourned till To-morrow, at Twelve o'clock. 

Die J Otis, 12 Martii 1903. 

1>RE,SENT : 

Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Muskerry. 
Lord Wolverton. 

Lord Brassey. 
Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

The Earl Spencer in the Chair. 

The Order of Adjournment is read. 

The Proceedings of yesterday are read. 

The following Witnesses are called in, and examined, viz. : Captain Thomas George Kendall, 
Mr. Herbert Rnwdl, Captain William Erskine, Mr. A. McGlashan, Captain Andrew Cunninghame, 
and Captain William G. Melville. (Vide the Evidence.) 

Ordered, That the Committee be adjourned till Monday next, at Twelve o'clock. 

Die Liince, 16" Martii 1903. 

present : 

Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Muskerry. 
Lord Wolverton. 

Lord Brassey. 
Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

The Earl Spencer in the Chair. 

The Order of Adjournment is read. 

The Proceedings of Thursday last are read. 

The following Witnesses are called iu, and examined, viz. : Mr. Walter J. Howell, C.B., the Most 
Honourable the Mirquess of Gra/ia/Ti, Mr. W. A. TfiMuiw?, and Captain David Mills. (Vide the 
Evidence.) c. 

Ordered, That the Committee be adjourned till Tuesday, the 24th of, March, at Twelve o'clock. 



Die Marti s, 24" Martii 1903. 


Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Muskerry. 
Lord Wolverton. 

Lord. Brassey 
Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

The Earl Spencer in the Chair. 

The Order of Adjournment is read. 

The Proceedings of the 16th of March are read. 

The following Witnesses are called in, and examined, viz. : Sir Jarries Lyle Mackay, O.C.M.G., 
K.C.I.E., Captain Trail, Mr. Thovias Walton, Mr. Francis Yeoman, Mr. John Fenivick Fenwick, 
Captain Arthur Clement Cooke, Captain Robert James Gilchrist, Captain George Webster Jinenan, 
Captain Barter, and Captain Monro Reid. {Vide the Evidence.) 

Ordered, That the Committee be adjourned till Thursday next, at Twelve o'clock. 

Die Jovis, 26" Martii 1903. 


Lord Muskerry. 
Lord Wolverton. 
Lord Brassey. 

Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

The Earl Spencer in the Chair. 

The Order of Adjournment is read. 

The Proceedings of Tuesday last are read. 

The following Witnesses are called in, and examined, viz. : Mr. Alfred Stephen Collard, 
Mr. Robert Richardson Douylas, Mr. Richard Stephenson Middleton, Mr. James Thompson, Mr. /. 
Smith Park, and Mr. Ernest Cooke. ( Vide the Evidence.) 

The Chairman is requested to prepare a Draft Report. 

Ordered, That the Committee be adjourned till Tuesday, the 19th of May, at Twelve o'clock. 

Die Martis, 19 Maii 1903. 



Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Muskerry. 
Lord Wolverton. 

Lord Brassey. 
Lord Shaud. 

The Earl Spencer in the Chair. 

The Order of Adjournment is read. 
The Proceedings of the 26th of March last are read. 
A Draft Report is laid before the Committee, and is read as follows : 
That the Committee have met and considered the subject referred to them, and have 
examined many witnesses. 

(0.3.) b 2 


1. The e'oimnittee are infonnwl tliat inunv British ships, both steamers and sailing v^^ssels, 
are sent to sea in lallst. Such ships mainly befong to the class of vessels known as Tramps,' i.e., 
cargo boats tiiuling anywhere and everywhere, in distinction to Liners which trade regularly 
between two ports. 

" 2. The Committee find that many ship-masters and en^neers consider that vessels when sent 
to seji in ballast are unseaworthy, although the feeling upon the subject seems by no means to be 

Q. 100, 106, 161, -240, "3. Several witnesses have urged that ships when insufficiently ballasted are dangerous, and 
1038, ne-' ***' ^'*' at'tribute accidents to the machinery in steiuners to the fact that the propellers of vessels in ballast 
are not sufficiently submergcfl. 

y. 17R2-1793. ' k But although for various reasons the practice of sending ships to sea in ballast seems 

y. et>.',6"2,688,786, to \)q increasing, the Committee find from the evidence which they have received and from the 
t'096,"''2l^' ^aiBoftrd of Trade statistics, that there has been no serious loss of life on ships in ballast, and rhiit 
iH%\ 2502, 2629, accidents to the inachinerj' in such ships are decreasing. 

Q. is.T0-r832, 1939, " The Committee attribute this decrease in accidents to the machinery in steamers very largely 

2169, 2176, 2477. * to the action tixken by Lloyd's Register, on the recommendation of a Special Committee which sivt 

Q. 9fi-' 962 some three years ago, to devise means to prevent the large number of breakages to screw shafts 

"* which were alleged to be due to the imdcr-ballasting of snips. On the advice of this Committee.' 

Lloyd's altered their rules with regard to the size and strength of propeller shafts. The results of 
Appendix E ^^^^ policy seem to have been most satisfactory, judging from the large decrease in the number of 

accidents to propellers and shafts since 1899. 

" The Conunittee are informed that of the totjil tonnage which cleared at the various ports in 
Q. 1794. the United Kingdom in 1902, 32i per cent, was in ballast, as against 67i per cent, witn cargo. 

Whereas of the vessels tot^illy lost in the 17 years ending on the 30th June, 1901, 17 per cent., as 
g ,-gg^ against 83 per cent., were in ballast ; of the tonnage totally lost, 13 per cent., as 87 per 

cent., was in ballast, and of the seamen lost, 10 per cent., as against 90 per cent., were lost from 

ships in ballast. 

Q. 1798. " 'I'he average annual number of seamen lost from all kinds of merchant vessels belonging to 

the United Kingdom in the 17 years ending on the 30th June, 1902, was 988, and the average 
number of lives Tost from vessels in ballast was only 99. 

Q. isoi. "During the last year there has been a decided diminution in the number of lives lost from 

vessels in ballast, and only three vessels in ballast have been missing during the last two winters. 

" 5. It is impossible, therefore, to say that vessels in this condition are unseaworthy, as although 
they are undoubtedly difficult to manage in rough weather, the number of accidents to them seems 
Q. 1804. to be really smaller in proportion than to ships in cargo. 

(J 429 74'" -89 ^" ^^^^^^^ witnesses have pointed out that more accidents are caused by the improper 

8:io, 8i>3, 928, 'i26o] ballasting of ships than by insufficient ballasting, and have called attention to the practice that 
1309, 1522, 1571), prevails of taking in loose ballast which is left on deck in order that it may more easily be thrown 
2064, 2099, 2101. overboard before the ship arrives in the port at which she is to take in cargo. The object of this 
practice is to prevent any delay in the taking in of cargo. 

" 7. The Committee, in view of the evidence which they have received, deprecate most strongly 

the practice of throwing over ballast before a vessel arrives at her destination, and are of opinion 

that, as there is always danger of such loose ballast shifting, Board of Trade Surveyors cannot be 

too careful in exercising their power of detaining ships upon which the ballast is not properly 

Q. 128. secured. 

/\ OW'J 'XMl IKO Ifi" 

,'SS. ?20, 754, ' 779^ " 8. Many witnesses have urged the desirability for the definition by the Legislature of what 

87-.', !ii4, j267, 1343, constitutes sufficient ballast, and have pointed out that the establishment of a compulsory Light 
161' 1731* 1761' ^^^^ Line, on the analogy of the Load Line, would be the best method of effecting thi^ purpose. 
20r.rt; 2077, 213l| 

213,. 2142, 2158. 9 Such a line could no doubt be fixed upon vessels, but it would be a matter of coiisider- 

M-^^"i"f^U)03^i004' '^^^^ difficulty to decide upon, as the line would naturally have to vary upon different types of 
}cri->, i'855, 2466! ^hips. Consideration would also have to be given to the length of the voyage and to the trade 
25:!9. ' upon which a vessel was engaged. 

" The Conunittee would also point out that a Light Load Line, although it might prevent the 
g. 71 72. insufficient loading of a ship, would be no real protection against improper loading. 

.> I wu'j 1410 " ^^" '^^ advocates of a Light Load Line have laid stress upon the point that if such a line is 

158<T,'' 'i64i,"' 1769*, "I'lde compulsory on British shipping, it must be applied equally to foreign ships. 

2(X;h', 2120, 2I60', 

25:is. "11. It must be remembered, however, that although Board of Trade Surveyors can prevent 

foreign ships sailing from British ports if they appear to be too heavily laden, the regulation with 
regara to the marking of the Deeji Load Line does not apply to foreign vessels, and it would, therefore, 

Q. 1940, 19-J.5-1959, be extremely difficult under existing conditions to comnel foreigners to adopt a Light Load Line. 

2(Kll, 2187, 2479. "^ - '^ ... 

" The Committee feel that it would be unwise to put any further legislative restrictions upon 

y. itXjO, 1943, 2093, British ships which could not equally be applied to foreign vessels, unless it could be proved tnat 

2"'^- such restrictions were absolutely necessary for the safeguarding of human life. 


"12. It has been suggested that some advanta,ge might be given in the way of reduction of Q. 972, 1453, 1875 
tonnage to owners of vessels who allow more space for efficient water ballasting in their ships. 
Such special reduction in tonnage tjould not be effected without legislation. The Committee Q- ;*>37, 2)S2. 
consider that the suggestion is open to various difficulties and objections, and are not prepared to 
recommend its adoption. 

' 13. It has been proved to the satisfaction of the Conmiittee that the large majority ofQ- ii7r>, 143:J, li) 
shipowners are alive to the necessity of properly ballasting their ships in order to insure their o'^' ^^' |f" 
malking speedy voyages. It has been stated m evidence, without nnicn difference of opinion, that 2478^ 2515, -it 
modern freight ships, owing to changes in build, size, and material, require more oallast than 2707! 
vessels of an older type. The Committee are of opinion that engineers are aware of this fact and q. lyg 370 r^ j 
fully realise the importance of allowing increased space for water ballast in the modern type of 96, 1171, 1'eei.' 
steamer to secure stability when the vessel has no cargo on board. 

" 14. The Committee are therefore unable to recommend the adoption of a Light Load Line, 
because in their opinion there has been no loss of life, such as was proved to exist when the 
Deep Load Line became law, sufficient to justify legislation of this restrictive character which 
would of neces-sity press hardly upon shipowners. 

" 15. It has been pointed out that the Board of Trade Detaining officers have never detained Q- 165, i8,-J33,i 
ships sailing in ballast. A doubt has in consequence arisen as to whether the Board of Trade, |^' |^' ^ ; 
under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, have the right to detain vessels when 799) 
insufficientlv ballasted. LSoO- i:4, 1; 

" 1614, 1623, r 

" 16. The Committee consider that it has been conclusively proved to them that the Board of 2300' 2373' 3t22. 
Trade have ample power under the Merchant Shipping Act to detain any British or foreign vessel 
from sailing in an unsafe condition. The Committee have received important evidence from Mr. 
W. J. HoweU, C.B., an Assistant Secretary of the Board of Trade and Chief of the Marine Department, 
and find that the Board, whilst strongly opposed to any fresh legislation at the present time, 
because they believe that the evil of underballiisting is being done away with, yet admit that it is 
possible to make further improvements in the ballasting of ships. 

" The Committee therefore confidently rely upon the Board of Trade to use the powers already 
conferred upon them by Parliament to prevent the improper or insufficient ballasting of ships, and 
to apply at once to Parliament if at any future date they consider any extension of their powers 
necessary in the public interest." 

The said Report is considered. 

Ordered, That the Committee be adjournetl till Friday next, at Twelve o'clock. 

Die Veneris, 22 Maii 190:J. 

Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Muskerry. 
Lord Wolverton. 


Lord Brassey. 
Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

The Earl Spencer in the Chair. 

The Order of Adjournment is read. 

The Proceedings of Tuesday last are read. 

The Draft Report is further considered. 

Paragraph 1 is read. 

It is moved by the Lord Muskerry to add at the end of the paragraph : " That such vessels 
forming a very large proportion of the ships of the British Merchant Service great importance 
jnust be attached to their being seaworthy whilst in ballast." 

On Question :- 

Content (1). 
Lord Muskerry. 

Not Contents (6). 

Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Wolverton. 
Lord Brassey. 
Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde 

It is resolved in the negative. 


Paragraph 1 is again read, and agreed to. 

Paragraph 2 is read. 

It is niovwl by the Lord Sliavd to leave out " many," in line 1 of the parngiaph, and to insert 
' a number of." 

On Question :- 

Contents (2). 

Tjord MuskoiT}'. 
Lord Shand. 

Not Contents (5>. 

Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Eidlcy. 
Lord Wolverton. 
Lord Brassey. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

It is resolved in the negative. 

It is moved by the Viscount Ridley after " that," in line 2 of the paragraph, to insert " some." 

On Question : 

Contents (4). Not Contents (3). 

Viscount Ridley. Earl Spencer. 

Lord Wolverton. Lord Muskerry. 

Lord Brassey. "" Lord Shand. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

It is resolved in the affi.i'viative. 

It is moved by the Lord Shand, after " unseaworthy," in line 2 of the paragraph, to insert. 
" because they are insufficiently ballasted." 

The same is agreed to. 

Paragraph 2 is postponed. 

Paragraph 3 is read. 

An Amendment is made. 

It is moved by the Lord Muskerry to leave out paragi-aphs ^ and 3, and to insert the following 
new paragraph, viz. : " The Committee find that shipbuilders, naval architects, shipmasters and 
officers, engineer, &c., and all the nautical assessors who have appeared before them, consider that 
vessels sent to sea insufficiently ballasted are unsea worthy through being unmanageable in bad 
weather. The opinions of over ten thousand members constituting the Merchant Service Guild 
and of two other laigc societies who desired to give evidence, are unanimous as to the prevalence 
of insufficient ballasting and the dangers arising therefrom. The isolated opinions of two or three 
individual ship masters who appeared to oppose the Light Load Line cannot bear weight with the 
Committee against such evidence. It may also be added that Sir James Mackav, the principal 
representative of the shipowners, states that there is no doubt that if a ship is under-ballasted she 
wul be unsafe." 

On Question: 

Content (1). 
Lord Muskerry. 

Not Contents (6). 

Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Wolverton. 
Lord Brassey. 
Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

It is resolved in the negative. 

Paragraphs 2 and 3, as amended, are again read, and agreed to. 

Paragraph 4 is read. 

It is moved by the Lord Shand, in line 4 of the paragraph, after " ballast " to insert " as. 
compared with sucti loss in the case of vessels sailing with full cargoes." 

The same is agreed to. 

Further Amendments are made. 

It is moved by the Lord Muskerry to leave out the paragraph and to insert the following 
new paragraph, viz. : 

" The Committee find that the practice of sending ships to sea in ballast is increasing, and 
from the evidence they have received from the Board ot Trade, it is stated that during the past 
11 years the question of insufficient or improper ballasting has been raised at 34 formaF investiga- 
tions and Courts of Inquiry by the Board of Trade into Shipping disasters, and in 15 cases the= 
vessels were pronounced insufficiently ballasted. 



" From evidence submitted by Mr. Moore, the representative of the Merchant Service Guild, 
based on Board of Trade Returns, the Committee find that in the past three years no less than 15 
vessels have been found at these formal investigations or other legally constituted Inquiry Courts 
to have been insufficiently or_ improperly ballasted, or both. Mr. Williams, representing the 
Liverpool Underwriters' Association, gives much evidence as to loss of life from ships in ballast, 
Aiid furnishes a list based on official Returns of accidents during the last six years. Reference 
has also been made by witnesses to the statement in certain Regulations issued by th6 Marine 
Mutual Assurance Associations of the United Kingdom, where reference is made to ' the continued 
serious loss of life and property on ballast passages.' We find that the Board of Trade have not 
produced in their Appendix the cases of the s.s. ' Ethiopia,' the s s. ' Kaisari ' (23 lives lost), the 
S..S. 'Ashmore,' the s.s. ' Kildona,' and the S.S. " Buckingham,' from whic" 

reliance on the information furnished in this Appendix. 

which we are unable to place full 

" From the Tables in the Appendix supplied by Mr. Howell, we find that a great number of 
casualties enumerated affect vessels which, being below 80 tons register, would be outside the 
sphere of a li^ht load line. In Table 3 no less than 2.5 out of 45 vessels are really not affected. 
From this Table the Committee find that the ' Zanetta " whilst in ballast was in an unmanageable 
condition during bad weather, a preliminary Inquiry only being held. 

" In Table No. 4 supplied by Mr. Howell it appears that 19 of the vessels would be affected. 
Froiu the Reports of the Preliminary Inquiries and formal investigations it is evident that during 
the past eight months three of these vessels were in an unmanageable condition whilst in light 
trim (' Daisy,' ' Buckingham,' ' The Viscount '), or 15 per cent, of the accidents, were over and above 
those due to the ordinaiy perils of the sea. 

" According to Table 5 of sliaft failures, and eliminating those vessels not affected, the propor- 
tion of shaft failures to ballasted vessels is 8 per cent, greater than to loaded vessels. 

' We have accepted Mr. Howell's statement and figures as to one out of every three vessels 
-entered and cleared in the United Kingdom being in ballast, but it is evident from Table 1 of his 
Appendix that in regard to foreign-going vessels which are chiefly affected, the proportion is by no 
means so large, and consequently the excess percentages of accidents to vessels in ballast which wc 
have deduced from Mr. Howell's Tables may, in regard to such ships, be assessed in reality as much 
Tiighcr. In 1902 the proportion of foreign-going ships in ballast is only about one-fifth. The high 
percentage of one-third in ballast at which Mr. Howell has arrived is brought about by vessels 
trading round our own coasts, the majority of which are small vessels below 80 tons. 

" To base averages on the number of lives lost on vessels entering the United Kingdom, either 
loaded or in ballast, the averages of vessels in ballast for each year must be arrived at, and even 
then the statistics are very liable to be deceptive from reasons stated heretofore. 

" The Committee feel that the most reliable evidence is that of the decisions of Courts of 
Inquiry which attribute serious disasters to in sufficient or improper ballasting, and from these deci- 
sions it is evident that within the past three years there has been an increase in the number of 
<ises where vessels have been found to be insufficiently or improperly ballasted." 

On Question : 

Content (1). 
Lord Mu.skerry. 

Not Contents (5). 

Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Wolverton. 
Lord Bras.'iey. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

It is resolved in the negative. 

Paragraph 4, as amended, is again read, and agreed to. 

Paragraph 5 is read. 

It is moved by the Ltird Skaml to leave out from the beginning of the paragraph to " the " in 
line 3, and to insert, " It Ciinnot therefore be said to bo proved that vessels in large numbers are 
Tinsea worthy because wanting in ballast." 

The same is agreed to. 

It is moved by the Lord Maskerry to leave out the paragraph and to insert the following new 
paragraph, viz. : " It has been generally agreed that vessels sent to sea with insufficient ballast are 
unsafe and involve risk to life." 

On Question : 

Content (1). 
Lord Muskerry. 

It is resolved in the negative. 

Not Contents (5). 

Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Wolverton. 
Lord Brassey. 
Lord Inverclyde. 


l'ani};nipli 5, as amendod, is again read, and agreed to. 

Panigraphs (i and 7 ai-e read. 

It is moved by the Lord Mmkeii'y to leave out the said two paragraphs. 

After discussion, the same is agreed to. 

It is movotl by the Lord jV^/.v>'/'^ to insert the following new paragraph, viz. : "It is fouud 
that insufficient and improper ballasting exists. There has been no opposition to the necessity for 
securing loose ballast, and accordingly the Committee recommend regulations as to shifting- 
boards, etc., licing drawn up and enforced by the Board of Trade in the same manner as with gram 
cargoes. Tliey (teprecate most strongly the practice of throwing over ballast before a vessel arrives 
at her destination, and would advise the Board of Trade issuing a warning not only to shipmasters- 
hut to shijxiwiiei-s who give orders to this effect." 

After discussion, the proposed paragi-aph is accepted, subject lo certain amendments, and is- 
agreed to in the following form, viz. : " Several Witnesses have pointed out that many accident* 
are caused b_v the improper ballasting of ships. They have called attention to the dangers caused,, 
first, by not .securing loose ballast in the hold, and, secondly, by a practice that prevails of throwing^ 
over loose ballast which is taken on board in order to make up for iasufficient under-deck ballast, 
and is kept on deck. Such loose ballast is often thrown overboard before the ship arrives in port. 
The object of this practice is to prevent any unnecessary delay in the taking in of cargo. The 
Committee, in \iew of the evidence which they have received with regard to the danger caused 
by the shifting of under-deck ballast, recommend that regulations as to securing ballast should be 
drawn up ancf enforced by the Board of Trade. They also deprecate most strongly the practice of 
throwing over ballast before a vessel arrives at her destination, and would advise the Board of 
Trade to issue a warning not only to shipmasters but also to shipowners who give orders to this- 

Paragraph 8 is read, and agreed to. 

Paragraph 9 is read. 

It is moved by the Lord Shand to leave out lines 1 to 5 inclusive, and to insert the following' 
new paragraph, viz. : " A deep load line admits of being fixed and delineated on a ship's side on 
principles and rules of general application. It is very different as regards a light load line, for- 
there consideration would apply (1) to different classes of ships depending on their forms and 
shapes and water ballasting arrangement ; (2) the different classes of trade and voyages for which 
they were intended ; (3) the seasons of the year when they were to be in use ; (4) the means of 
trimming the ballast to be carried; (5) the sail to be carried; (6) the means secured to prevent 
shifting, and other matters of detail. Thus the making of a light load line would impose much 
difficulty and expense on owners and officials of a very different class from that of a deep load line 
beyond which vessels are not to be sunk." 

After discussion, the same is disagreed to. 

It is moved by the Lord Musherry, in line 5 of the paragraph, after " enerage " to insert " The 
same machinery which deals with the deep load line would, however, be available in this matter,. 
and we would recommend the appointment of a committee of naval ai'chitects and other experts to- 
make a thorough inquiry as to tne possibility of drawing up tables or devising other means to deal 
with both insufficient and improper ballasting." 

On Question : 

Content (1). 
Lord Muskerry. 

Paragraph is again read, and agreed to. 
Paragiaph 10 is read, and agreed to. 
Paragraph 11 is read. 

Not Contents (5). 

Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Wolverton. 
Lord Brassey. 
Lord In^erclyde. 

It is moved by the Lord Muskei-'ry to leave out the paragraph, and to insert the folIoAvino^ 
new paragraph, viz. : " The Board of Trade have power to and detain and prosecute foreign 
vessels in British Ports for overloading and other unseaworthiness, therefore there appears to- 
be no reason why the same powers cannot be exercised in the matter of insufficient and 
improper ballasting. The light load line Avould in this relation be analogous to the present deep' 
load line." 

On Question: 

Content (1). 
Lord Muskerry. 

It is resolved in the negative. 

Not Contents (5). 

Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Wolverton. 
Lord Brassey. 
Lord Inv6rclyde. 


Paragraph 11 is again read, and agreed to. 

Paragraph 12 is read, and agreed to. 

Paragraph 13 is read. 

An Amendment is made 

It is moved by the Lord Muskerry to leave out from " type," in line 6, to the end of the 
paragraph, and to insert " Though shipbuilders and naval architects ftiUy realise the importance of 
sufficient ballast, it appears that the provision of ballast tanks increases the cost in construction, 
and many shipowners desire to buy thieir ships as cheaply as possible. Consequently what are 
known as ' speculative ' ships may be built with very inadequate water ballast to give cheapness 
and obtain a ready purchaser." 

On Question : 

Content (1). 
Lord Muskerry 

Not Contents (5). 

Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Wolverton. 
Lord Brassey. 
Lord Inverclyde 

It is resolved in the negative. 

Paragraph 13. as amended, is again read, and agreed to. 

Paragraph 14 is read. 

It is moved by the Lord Muakeiiy to leave out the paragraph, and to insert the foUomng new 
paragraph, viz. : " The Committee recommend, as stated previously, the formation of a committee 
of naval architects and other experts, and if it is found possible by them to arrive at a workable 
light load line or other approved measures, the Board of Trade should then take steps in obtaining 
legal powers to enforce them, both in regard to British vessels, and, if possible, foreign vessels." 

On Question : 

Content (1). 
Lord Muskerry. 

Not Contents (5). 

Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley, 
Lord Wolverton. 
Lord Brassey. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

It is resolved in the negative. 

Paragraph 14 is again read, and agreed to. 

Paragraph 15 is read. 

It is moved by the Lord Wolverton, after "officers," in line 1 of the paragraph, to insert 
" although they frequently warn owners and masters whose vessels appear to be improperly or 
insufficiently ballasted," 

The same is agreed to. 

The paragraph is postponed. 

Paragraph 16 is read. 

Various Amendments are made. 

[/^) ni 

It is moved by the Lord Shand to insert after " ships," in line 10 of the paragraph, " As 
already mentioned, it has been suggested that a reduction in tonnage might be given to owners 
who allow more space for water ballasting, and a recommendation that there might be a minimum 
draft of 50 or 55 per cent, of the dead weight limited was also made by Mr. Walton, Board of 
Trade Surveyor, so as to prevent under-ballasting. These suggestions the Committee commend 
to the consideration of the Board of Trade, to whom they also suggest that the issue of renewed 
special instructions should be made to the Board's surveyors to give renewed care and vigilence to 
the proper ballasting of ships, as the Committee recognise the importance and usefulness of such 

The same is disagreed to. 
(0.3t c ^ 


It is moved by the Lord Muskerry to leave out pamgraphs 15 and 16, and to insert the 
following new paragraph, viz. : 

" The Committee are impressed by the fact that the detaining officers of the Board of Trade 
have never detained a vessel on the score of her being insufficiently or improperly ballasted. They 
ascribe this to the fact that without any guidance in the shape of a mark or some definite instruc- 
tions they hesitate to accept such a great responsibility when it would be an impossibility to prove 
unseaworthiness before the vessel left the port, and they or the Board of Trade would be liable for 
damages for the detention of the ship. Clause 457 (1) of the Merchant Shipping Act does not 
fumisn detention powers, and as the Committee consider it would be impossible at the present 
time to secure a conviction under this clause, it would appear to be of no avail in the matter under 

" Clause 459 gives power to detain a ship on the ground of the defective condition of her hull, 
ec[uipments, or machinery, or by reason of overloading or improper loading. There is, therefore, no 
direct reference to sufficient ana proper ballasting, which is a most important feature in a ship in 
ballast. In one case it has been shown to us that a Board of Trade official did not consider that he 
was entitled to detain a ship in ballast because the provision was only applicable to vessels ' im- 
properly loaded.' The Committee consider that both insufficient and improper ballasting should be 
embodied in this clause. Should a ship proceed to sea without ballast she is neither ' ballasted ' 
nor ' loaded,' and under this clause the Board of Trade have absolutely no power to detain her. 

" Under Clause 463 (1), a seaman or apprentice must firstly commit the offence of desertion, or 
being absent without leave ; and, secondly, be proceeded against in a court of law by the master of 
the snip. This clause is exceedingly cumbrous and quite valueless, for it is palpable that no master 
or owner would, at very great cost and inconvenience, detain his ship to prosecute a seaman or 
apprentice when there are always the means to obtain substitutes to allow the ship to proceed. 
Tne Committee deem it advisable to mention this clause although it was not referred to in 

" For the reasons they have advanced the Committee are strongly of opinion that the law 
neetls amendment and amplification, and they trust that the Board of Trade will take prompt steps 
in carrying out their recommendations." 

On Question : 

Content (1). 

Lord Muskerry. 

Not Contents (5). 

Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Wolverton. 
Lord Brassey. 
Lord Inverclyde. 
It is resolved in the negative. 

Paragraphs 15 and 16, as amended, are again read, and agreed to. 

It is moved by the Lord Muskerry to add the following new paragraph to the Report, viz. : 
" The Committee regret that the Board of Trade could not see their way to lay before the 
Committee the Special Reports of their principal officers upon the question of the insufficient 
ballasting of ships 

On Question : 

Content (1), 
Lord Muskerry. 

Not Contents (6). 

Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 
Lord Wolverton. 
Lord Brassey. 
Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

It is resolved in the negative. 

It is moved. That the Draft Report, as amended, be agreed to. 

On Question : 

Contents (6). i Not Content (1). 

Earl Spencer. 1 Lord Muskerry. 

Viscount Ridley. 

Lord Wolverton. 

Lord Bra.ssey. 

Lord Shand. 

Lord Inverclyde. | 

It is resolved in the affirmative. 

The Draft Report, as amended, is agreed to. 

Ordered, That the Lord in the Chair do make the Report to the House 

[ 1 ] 





[ 2 ] 


Die Lunce, 9 Martii 1903. 


Mr. Thomas Warren Moore .-.. 3 

Mr. Alexander Allan Miller 15 

Captain Richard David Roberts 19 

Captain Alexander Wood 21 

Captain Sinclair Loutit --26 

Die Martis, 10 Martii 1903. 

Rear-Admiral G. T. H. Boves 31 

Captain Alexander Greig 5ioble ...34 

Mr. Edward Chatmore Caston -.37 

Mr. David Clement 43 

Captain Joseph Alfred Ditchburn 48 

Captain Jameson Robertson 51 

Die Mercurii, 11 Martii 1903. 

Mr. Albert Edward Seaton, M.I.C.E. --- 55 

Captain Henry Lewis Beynon 63 

Mr. George F. Mason -..- --65 

Mr. A. J. Maunder 67 

Mr. John Shears Wyatt ------.-....70 

Die Jovis, 12 Martii 1903. 

Captain Thomas George Kendall --... 75 

Mr. Herbert Rowell -.79 

Captain William Erskine -- 83 

Mr. A. McGIashan - -85 

Captain Andrew Cunninghame 95 

Captain William G. Melville -98 

Die Lunce, 16 Martii 1903. 

Mr. Walter J. Howell, c.B. -.-.. loi 

The Most Honourable The Marquess of Graham - 120 

Mr. W. A. WilHams 121 

Captain David Mills --- 127 

Die Martis, 24 Martii 1903. 

Sir James Lyle Mackay, g.c.m.g., k.c.i.e. 129 

Captain Trail 138 

Mr. Thomas Walton ------.-..... 140 

Mr. Francis Yeoman -- X44 

Mr. John Fenwick Fen wok --- 148 

Captain Arthur Clement Cooke 149 

Captain Robert James Gilchrist - 151 

Captain George Webster Jineman 151 

Captain Barter ----.-......._ 152 

Captain Monro Reid I53 

Die Jovis, 26 Martii 1903. 

Mr. Alfred Stephen Collard - - - ' . . .155 

Mr. Robert Richardson Douglas -- 156 

Mr. Richard Stephenson Middleton 160 

Mr. James Thompson --- 162 

Mr. J. Smith Park 162 

Mr. Ernest Cooke I64 

[ 3 ] 

Die Lun(B, 9^ Martii 1903. 


Earl Spehckr. 
Viscount Ridley. 


Lord Brassey 
Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

The Earl SPENCER in the Chair. 

Mr. THOMAS WARREN MOORE is called in; and Examined, as follows: 


1. Would you just state your position ? My 
position, my Lord, is that of Assistant Secretary 
of the Merchant Service Guild, a body of captains 
and officers of the Merchant Service, approach- 
ing 10,000 in number. 

2. I think you have various other qualifica- 
tions; you are Principal of a navigation school, 
are not you ? I am, my Lord, a Fellow of the 
Royal Geographical Society; I was co-principal 
of a navigation school for 10 years; I obtained 
honours m navigation and first-class advanced 
nautical astronomy under the Science and Art 
Department ; I have been a lecturer on naviga- 
tion, nautical astronomy, and collateral subjects 
under the Liverpool City Council the Runcorn 
District Council and on board H.M.S. "Clarence ;" 
I am also joint author of a Treatise on Compass 

3. Then you will give evidence on behalf of 
the Merchant Service Guild ; is that so ? Yes, 
my Lord. If I might say so previously to doing 
so, I appear here on behalf of the Secretary of 
the Guild, who imfortunately, is in ill-health and 
unable to travel. 

4. Will you just state what the Merchant Ser- 
vice Guild is ? The Merchant Service Giiild is 
a body composed of certificated British captains 
and officers of the Merchant Service ; it has now 
a membership of close on 10,000. 

5. The question of insufficient ballasting of 
ships has been before the Guild, has it? It has 
been before the Guild ever since its initiation 
in the year 1893. Constant represntations have 
been made since then, both verbally and other- 
wise, by our members, and the question has also 
very frequently received the attention of the 
meetings of the Guild, which are held every 
week, and are attended by captains and officers 
in active service, who are, we consider, the best 
able to judge as to the dangers of insufficient 
ballasting. I have some letters here from mem- 
bers on active service ; I do not know, my Lord, 
whether you would care to hear any of the re- 
marks quoted in those letters. 

6. Ton might jusf describe generally the posi- 
tion of affairs with regard to ships in ballast; 

(0.3.) 106 

Chairman continued, 
just explain shortly what it is? The opinions or 
the Guild in regard to this question are that 
many ships in ballast far too large a propor- 
tion are unseaworthy by reason of their being 
insufficiently laden that is, without a sufficient 
amount of ballast being placed in them to give 
them a sufficient immersion to make them man- 
ageable under any conditions of bad weather or 
exceptional weather, which ihey may meet at 
any time. The opinion of the members of the 
Guild, which has been freely quoted, is that 
thjy would far rather proceed to sea in charge 
of vessels overladen than they would underladen, 
simply because an overladen ship is usually man- 
ageable, and an underladen ship under any con- 
ditions of bad weather is absolutely unmanage- 
able, and exceedingly dangerous to life at sea. 

7. Are you, at any period of the evidence you 
propose to give, going to state the number of 
ships that go out in this way? I propose, my 
Lord, to give a few cases which have happened 
within recent years. 

8. Yes ; but are there a large number of ves- 
sels that, in the opinion of the Guild, go to sea 
with insufficient ballast? In the last three 
years, as far as we can find, there have been 15 
cases of accidents due to insufficient and im- 
proper ballasting. 

9. That was not quite the question I asked you. 
Do you know the number of large ships that 
leave the ports of the United Kingdom with in- 
sufficient ballast ? You say there have been pro- 
bably 15 cases of accident in the last three years. 
I want to know whether, in your opinion, there 
is any very large number of ships that leave the 
ports of the United Kingdom or the reverse 
ships coming home that are not sufficiently 
ballasted ? The opinion of the Guild as regards 
these 15 cases that I was going to quote is de- 
rived from the results of the Board of Trade in- * 
quiries and Naval Courts inquiries ; but, in the 
opinion of the Guild, there is a very large pro- 
portion of the ships proceeding to sea in ballast 
at the present time which are not seaworthy, 
provided they meet with bad weather. 

10. But you have no actual figures j>s to the 
A 2 number 


i) March 1903.] 

Mr. Moore. 


Chairman continued, 
number that you consider iinseaworthy when 
they leave port, have you? No, my Lord, those 
figures would be rather difficult to obtain. 

11. Very well. Then perhaps you will go on 
as you propose. You have got a sketch of your 
evidence before you ; you had better proceed as 
vou have it there? The Guild say that accord- 
ing to tiie judgments of the Courts of Inquiry 
upon which there have been expert assessors 
loss of life has been caused through insufficient 
ballast ; and they consider that it is not a fair 
thing, for the safety of seafarers, that they should 
wait for a considerable time, that is, for a far 
greater loss of life at sea, before adopting a mea- 
sure such as tie Guild desire; and this view 
they hold upon the principle that " prevention 
is better than cure." Also there are several cases 
of strandings which have occurred due to insuf- 
ficient ballasting ; but, fortunately, without loss 
of life. The Guild, however, say very emphatic- 
ally that that is due siniplv to Providence, that 
they were able to escape after their vessels had 
stranded, and that the probabilities might have 
been that the crews of all these different vessels 
would have been drowned ; and, considering it 
in regard to missing sailing ships, where great 
los,i of life has occurred, the Board of Trade, in 
appointing experts to inquire into the casualties 
to these vessels, their state and condition on 
leaving, have reported that they left port insuf- 
ficiently ballasted. The Guild, therefore, think 
that it 'is perfectly reasonable and proper to draw 
the inference that this was the cause of the 
casualty, as it appears that all the ships, with 
one or two exceptions, were considered seaworthy 
in other respects. I have here, for instance, a 
cutting dealing with the subject in a question 
asked in the House of Commons by Mr. Charles 
Allen, M.P., who inquired from the President of 
the Board of Trade how many British sailing 
vessels left foreign ports in ballast during 1900 
which had not since been heard of, what was 
their aggregate tonnage, and what was the ag- 
[.rregate number of officers and men carried by 
them? The President of the Board of Trade, in 
ffeply, said that during the year 1900 seven 
British sailing vessels had left foreign ports in 
ballast and h*d not since been heard of. " The 
aggregate net tonnage was 12,434 tons, and the 
aggregate number of officers and men carried 
by them was approximately 188." The Guild 
do not wish to say that the loss of these ships 
was due to insufficient ballasting, but they think 
that so many as seven British ships in ballast 
disappearing in one year seems somewhat sig- 
nificant. Then, my Lord, with regard to the 
breakage of shafts. 

12. Stop a moment. You have just now re- 
ferred to 15 cases ; I do not know whether you 
were going on to describe them ? ^Yes, my Lord. 

13. Have vou passed over those or are you 
coming to them presently? I propose to come 
to them. 

14. If you are coming to them presently 
never mind them now; go on? ^Then the 
Guild states that many cases have arisen 
where propeller shafts have been broken 
whilst snips have been in ballast: and it is 
iiiidoubtedly the fact that through the constant 
racing, pitching and tossing of steamers in 

Chairman continued. 

ballast, latent defects in the hull and machinery 
come about, and only make themselves felt when 
the ship is loaded and again sailing on the high 
seas. In regard to accidents to machinery, it is 
urged that accidents to machinery, etc., on board 
ship do not justify the establishment of a light 
load line ; but the bursting of steam pipes, etc., 
may very easily cause loss of life, and it is per- 
fectly natural to assume that a ship which has 
lost a propeller may drift far out of the track 
of shipping, and the lives of her crew be thereby 
considerably endangered. The Guild wish me to 
quote a case in jwint, and that is in regard to the 
explosion of a main steam pipe which occurred 
on board the s.s. " Ashmore." It appears that 
the vessel was in ballast and her engines were 
observed to be moving slowly on the seating, 
and the circulating discharge pipe gave way, 
the holding-down bolts having become slack. 
It is significant that the report of the Inspector 
(that is, the Inspector appointed by the Board 
of Trade, my Lord the Engineer Surveyor-in- 
Chief) stated that owing to the position of the 
vessel off the lee shore it was not considered safe 
to stop the engines for the purpose of getting 
access to and tightening the holding-down Iwlts. 
From that, of course, we must infer that the 
ship was in too dangerous a position in ballast 
to stop the engines that she would, in all pro- 
bability, if they had been stopped, have drifted 
ashore. He says, according to the judgment, 
that the bursting of the main steam pipe per- 
mitted the escape of steam, which placed those 
in the engine room in danger of being scalded. 
Fortunately, however, this was avoided, owing to 
the fact that the ship was then in harbour ; the 
services of a tug boat were available and the 
engines were stopped. The Engineer Surveyor- 
in-Chief of the Board of Trade (Mr. P. Samsoa,. 
I think his name is), at the conclusion of his 
inquiry, stated that there was no doubt that to 
a large extent insufficient ballasting was the 
primary cause of the trouble; and the Guild 
wish to point out to your lordships that this is a 
case which illustrates that it is not only the lives 
of seamen which are unjustifiably endangered, 
but those of engineers and firemen. 

15. Do you say that insufficient ballasi-ing 
caused this accident to the engine and the ex- 
plosion of the main pipe? That is the opinion, 
my Lord, of the Engineer Surveyor-in-Chief of 
the Board of Trade. He said that there was no 
doubt that to a lai-ge extent insufficient ballasting 
was the primaiy cause of the trouble. 

16. "Of the trouble"; that is the explosion 
of the pipe? Yes, my Lord. Then it is argued 
that the adoption of a light load line would 
be a great hardship to ships making short trips 
in ballast ; say, from the Continent to the United 
Kingdom to load. It is considered that it would 
be very hard ; it is said that they are only mak- 
ing short passages, and that it would be a hard- 
ship to inflict a light load line upon them in 
this way ; but the opinion of the members of the 
Guild is that a light load line is far more 
necessary in the case of short voyages such as 
those, than of long ones, simply because they are 
constantly near to the coast, and if anything like 
bad weather comes on they are verj' liable to be 
placed, so to speak, on a lee shore, and bo 



9 March 1903.] 

Mr. MooBE. 


Chairman continued, 
^eatly endangered. Of course, when a ship is 
on the open sea there is not the same danger pre- 
sent of ships getting ashore, at least. Our mem- 
bers, who have been carefully consulted on this 
matter, strongly hold that equally bad weather 
may be met with coming round on those short 
voyages from the Continent to the United King- 
dom as may be met with on the open ocean. A 
similar argument against the adoption of the 
light load line has been advanced that it would 
be also a hardship on sailing vessels in 
toiw, that is, sailing vessels being towed 
round in ballast from, say, the Continent to a 
port in the United Kingdom to load. But here 
also the Guild hold that there is very great dan- 
ger, and that the light load line is equally neces- 
sary for sailing vessels in tow. I have a case 
in point to quote to your Lordships in regard 
to that the case of the " Moel Tryvan," which 
was bound from Antwerp to Cardiff in ballast; 
she broke away from the tugboat owing to bad 
weather being met with, capsized, and 10 lives 
were lost. That seems to point to the fact that 
sailing vessels in tow may break away in bad 
weather, and then if they have insufficient bal- 
last they are quite unseaworthy. Then it is 
stated that shipmasters (captains) have discre- 
tionary powers as to the amount of ballast they 
may carry ; but the Guild wish to say that nowa- 
days the discretionary powers of captains are very 
much less than thej" were, and that it is only a 
very small proportion of shipmasters who really 
have such powers in the matter of ballasting and 
that sort of thing. The amount is very fre- 
quently (usually) fixed by the owners or the 
owners' suj)erintenden.t. 

17. Is that the same which ever side of the At- 
lantic they are on? Thej- cannot be present 
as the owners on more than one side at a time, 
but they always have their superintendents, you 
say, on whichever side the vessel may be? If 
they are in a foreign port, my Lord, then, of 
course, they know they have the same amount of 
ballast to carry as they have from a home port. 
If an owner states that the vessel is to carry 
500 tons, then the captain would know that on 
leaving a foreign port he must carry 500 tons. 

18. His discretionary power is not more exer- 
cised in a foreign port than in a home port? 
No, my Lord ; it is fixed. What we wish to con- 
vey is that owners and superintendents fix a 
certain amount of ballast for a certain ship, and 
if the captain exceeds this he incurs, so to speak, 
a responsibility which he does not like to under- 
take, because it may affect his employment. 
And in any case, supposing that some masters 
have discretionary power, the Guild think that 
it is not one which should be left to them in 
regard to judgment, as professional competition 
is liable to arise amongst them, and one master 
might, on the score of economy, take less than 
another, and the gradual result of that may be 
that the amount of ballast may be gradua.lly re- 
duced and the lives of the crew may be jeopar- 
dised thereby that is, that the amount of the 
ballast may become gradually and gradually 
less through professional competition in order to 
obtain economy. The case of the " Midas," for 
anRtance, might be quoted, where in the annexe 

Chairman continued, 
to the report of the Board of Trade Court of In- 
quiry it was said that the master had unfettered 
discretion as to the amount of ballast, and 
ample funds were placed at his disposal in Japan. 
The Guild consider that that is a case, for in- 
stance, where, being left in that way with dis- 
cretion, the master, perhaps, in the exercise of 
his judgment, may take less ballast than would 
be sufficient, simply because he is animated by 
a desire to save his owners as much money as he 
possibly can. 

19. Then, in the opinion of the Guild, do you 
say that the owner should have the discretion 
about settling the ballast, or the captain? 
We vvdsh to have this question of ballasting fixed 
by the State. 

20. Are you coming; to the Board of Trade 
powers? Yes, the Board of IVade detention 
powers. The Board of Trade, under the Mer- 
chant Shipping Act, have powers to detain in- 
sufficiently ballasted ships on the score of being 
unseaworthy ; but so far as we know, they have 
never been exercised in regard to an insufficiently 
ballasted ship ; and the Guild consider that, in 
any case, it is not fust to the Board of Trade 
surveyors to expect that they, in their minds' 
eye, should estimate a vessel just about to pro- 
ceed to sea ; they do not think it is fair to Board 
of Trade surveyors that this great responsibility 
should be placed upon them, as in their view 
the fixing of a light load line is one of the things 
which should be carried out by careful delibera- 
tion on the part of the liighest professional ex- 
perts, and not left to chance. The responsibility 
on the surveyor, which I allude to, is that if he 
detains a vessel which he considers insufficiently 
ballasted the shipowner may appeal, and if the 
Appeal Court decides that the ship is seaworthy 
the shipowner then may claim compensation 
for detention, and this the Guild feel is a 
serious responsibility for the Board of Trade 
surveyors to have to accept. 

21. While you are on that point, you say 
that this matter of deciding whether the ballast- 
ing is sufficient requires careful deliberation, of 
the highest professional experts; are not_ the 
surveyors of the Board of Trade in the position 
of being the highest professional experts, or 
cannot they call them in if necessary ? Well, 
the surveyors, my Lord, have different duties to 
perform, in this way that some surveyors are 
nautical surveyors what are termed nautical 
shipwright surveyors; others are engineers, 
others are shipwrights, and (as was the case 
with the deep load line) the Guild consider that 
that should not be left to one man or two men, 
or whatever it may be, but should be fixed by 
some definite authority, such as is done in the 
case of the deep load line. 

22. But so far as the Guild knows there has 
been no case of a ship detained, on account of 
insufficient ballasting by the Board of Trade ? 
Not so far as we know, my Lord. 

Lord Sltand. > 

23. Against whom would the claim for dam- 
ages lie that you speak of, if the surveyor made 
a mistake ? The Hoard of Trade, my Lord. 

24. Very 


9 March 1903.] 

Mr. MooBE. 



24. Very well, will you go on with your 
statement ? Then, my liord, 1 propose to nm 
through a, few cases where there has been a 
judgment of Board of Trade Courts of Inquiry 
ancf of Naval Courts, as to casualties which 
have happened to ships in ballast, and where 
those casualties have been directly attributed to 
improper and insufficient ballastnig. There is 
the case of the s.s. " Ardanbhan." 

Lord Shand. 

25. Are you now dealing with the 15 cases 
you spoke about ? Yes, my Lord. 

26. You are now coming to those 15 cases ? 
Yes, my Lord. In this case one of the questions 
put to the Court by the Board of Trade was 
as follows : Had the vessel her usual comnlement 
ot crew on leaying Gravesend on the 5th 
February last, and was she at that time properly 
and sufficiently ballasted and in good seaworthy 
trim for the voyage ? " The reply of the Court 
to that question was : " She was not at that time 
properly and sufficiently ballasted and in good 
seaworthy trim for the voyage." 


27. What is " the court "perhaps you will 
iust explain it to us. We may not exactly 
"know, some of us ; what court this would go to ? 
This is a court constituted for Board of Trade 
Inquiries which are held in cases where accidents 
have happened to merchant ships, 

28. Would you just explain what the consti- 
tution of the court is ? The constitution of the 
court in this case, my Lord is Mr. Gilbert G. 
Kennedy, who is the Judge of the court ; he is 
a magistrate. 

29. No, that is not what 1 mean ; are these 
standing courts existing courts, or are they 
special for the particular inquiry ? They are 
particular courts, for particular inquiries, my 

30. I mean is it a court constituted for each 
inquiry. In the case of the " Ardanbhan," that 
was'a court constituted on purpose to consider 
that case, was it ? Yes, my Lord. When the 
" Ardanbhan " went on shore the Board of Trade 
then got a Report from the Captain, and others, 
as to the circumstances relating to that. Then, 
in such cases, the Board of Trade consider 
whether they think it necessary to hold an 
inquiry into the casualty. Then, if they do, 
they o"i-der an inquiry to be held, and the Home 
Office appoint two Nautical Assessors to assist 
the court. This " Ardanbhan " court was held 
by Mr. G. G. Kennedy (I think I am right in 
saying that he is one of the London Stipendiary 
Magistrates), and he was assisted by Captains 
A. Konaldson and George Richardson, who are 
master mariners, experts in their profession, 
appointed by the Home Office to act as assessors 
at such courts. 

31. Then is Mr. Kennedy a pennanent officer, 
always ready to take the chair or preside over a 
court ? Well, niy Lord, the usual thing is this : 
for instance, in Liverpool the stipendiary there 
always presides over the court ; and in other 
places where there is not a stipendiary, I believe 
the custom then is to appoint two lay magis- 

Chairman continued, 
trates, to be assisted by these nautical assessors 
I have spoken of. 

32. It is the court ad hoc, for the particiilar 
purpose of inquiring into the loss of tne parti- 
cular ship? For the particular purpose of 
investigatmg the circumstances of the casualty. 

Lord Shand. 

33. Presided over by a stipendiary, I under- 
stand ? Presided over by a stipendiary, my 
Lord ; or if there is not a stipendiary, by two lay 


34. There is no standing court ; that is what 
I wanted to know ? No, there is no standing 
court, my Lord. I do not think, it is necessary 
for me to go through any more cases. Perhaps 
it would be better, to save time, if I quoted just 
briefly the cases of the inquiries that I have 
spoken of. There is the "Ardanbhan," the 
sailing ship " Caradoc." 

35. Just wait a moment; let mo ask you 
another question about these courts. As far as. 
these courts go there is confidence in them, on 
the part of tne captains in the guild is there,, 
or is there not ? Yes, my Lord, they have con- 
fidence in the opinions of the nautical assessors 
on these points as they have had seafaring 

36. Are the nautical assessors generally the 
same men ? No, I do not know exactly how 
many nautical assessors there are, but there are 

Eerhaps 20 or 30 I could not say oft-hand, my 

37. I understand you to say that you cannot 
answer that question definitely? These assessors 
my Lord, are resident all over the country. 

38. Are they permanent ? They are per- 
manent assessors. 

39. Permanent imder the Board of Trade or 
under the Home Office? Under the Home 
Office. If I might mention what I think is the 
actuai position I will do so. I think the 
actual position is (because I know, several 
of the nautical assessors) that they, in the first 
place, apply to the Home Office for appointment 
as nautical assessors, and they state all their 
qualifications ; for instance, I believe it is abso- 
lutely necessary that before a gentleman can be 
appomted as a nautical assessor he must hold 
an extra-master's certificate ; and of course his 
appointment by the Home Office rests with his 
qualifications. " These nautical assessors form a 
permanent list (so far as I understand, my Lord), 
and if the Board of Trade order an inquiry they 
then inform the Home Office that this inquiry 
has been ordered, and the Home Office then 
submit the names of two or throe nautical 
assessors to the Board of Trade to be ordered 
to attend this inquiry. That is my own im- 
pression, my Lord, of the position; I may be 

wrong. . . 

40. Are these assessors resident m diticrent 
parts of the country, or are they generally senc 
from some headquarters ? They are resident in 
difterent parts of the country, and are notified 
from London to attend. 

41. I understand 


9 March 1903.] 

Mr. Moore. 


Lord Shand. 

41. I understand you to say that however the 
appointment may be made, or in whatever par- 
ticular manner, your euild has confidence in 
them ? We have confidence in their judgment 
in these cases, my Lord. 

42. In these cases, having two assessors two 
men of good experience in nautical matters 
you are quite satisfied ? Having seafaring ex- 
perience and being experts in the profession. 

43. Perhaps you could classify the cases you 
are giving without stopping to give each one in 
detail ? Yes. I will just oriefly allude to each 
case, my Lord. There is the sailing ship 
" Caradoc." The judgment in that case was 
that the ship left port in bad trim and insufficient 
ballast; and she was never heard of; 32 li\es 
were lost. 

44. You had better just say where she was 
from. Was that a sailing from a home port or 
a foreign port? She left Kobe, Japan, for Port 
Angelas, Washington Territory, U.S.A. I might 
say in regard to the "Caradoc," Captain A. 
Cunn'nghame held the inquiry. 1 ought, 
perhaps, to explain that in certain cases such as 
this where a ship leaves port and has never been 
heard of afterwards the Board of Trade appoint 
(I think it is) what they call an " Inspector," so 
to speak ; he holds an inquiry himself, and the 
inspector in this case was Captain Andrew Cun- 
tunghame, who said " I am of opinion that there 
was not a sufficient quantity of ballast on board 

the vessel." 


4.5. Let me ask you a question upon that. 
This is the case of a ship trading from Japan, or 
to Japan from another foreign port ; it was not 
from a home port ? No, it was from a foreign 

46. How is the inquiry therefore in that case 
carried on by Captain (or Mr.) Cunninghame, or 
whoever he is ? The inquiry is held in this 
countr\', and whatever evidence is possible to be 
obtained is obtained and placed before him in 
this country. 

47. If all the crew are lost, where is the 
evidence obtained from ? They have the evi- 
dence, I think, my Lord, of the people at the 
port from whence the ship sailed ; tnat is the 
ship's agents, stevedores, and others who loaded 
the ship or put the ballast into her. 

Lord Shand. 

48. Was there a finding by that court, or is 
this a piece of levidence that you have men- 
tioned ? This is the finding of Captain 
Cuninghame, who was appointed to hold this 

49. A finding by him, and by him alone ? 
By him alone ; he was " the court." 

50. Was he appointed by the Board of Trade ? 
Yes, my Lord. As I said before, I think he 
would be nominated by the Home Office, and 
he would make his report to the Board of 

w" Chairman% 

51. He was one of the assessors, was he ? 
One of the assessors on the permanent list of 
nautical assessors. 

Chairman continued. 

52. Then that is not a case where the stipen- 
diary magistrate or the lay magistrates acted 
with assessors ? Not in this case no. 

(The report with reference to the ships 
" Ardanbhan " and " Caradoc" are handed in.) 
The next one is the " Laurelbank," where 
Captain Cuninghame was once again the in- 

Lord Shand. 

53. When you say " inspector," do you mean 
a Home Office inspector at that port ? Yes, 
he was " the Court " practically, my Lord ; he 
was " the Court." Captain Cuninghame says in 
regard to this : " I am of opinion that the ship 
had not sufficient ballast when she left 

(The Keport with reference to the " Laurel- 
bank " is handed in.) 

54. That Captain Cuninghame is the same 
man, is he ? That is the same man, my Lord. 

Viscount Ridley. 

55. He is an Inspector of the Board of Trade, 
is he not ? He is one of the permanent list of 
Nautical Assessors, my Lord. 

Lord Shand. 

56. But he is also an Inspector, I think ? 
Yes, he is also an Inspector. 

57. So that he held the double character of 
Inspector, and Nautical Assessor? Yes. I 
suppose that would be so. 


58. You are now about to speak of the 
" Nonpareil," are yon not ? Yes. In this case 
the ship was abandoned. " Formal investiga- 
tion," I believe is the correct name of the cases; 
the usual term given to them by nautical men 
is " Board of Trade Inquiries," but the correct 
term is " Formal Investigation," 

Lord Shand. 

59. Will you excuse me ; what do you say 
was the findmg of Captain Cunninghame in the 
last case ? Of course there is a lengthy judg- 
ment. I am only quoting the particular point 
that the Guild thinks affects the case at issue. 

60. But one would like to hear the judg- 
ment if it is not very long? I am afraid it 
would take considerable time. These reports 
can always be obtained from the Board of Trade. 
I am only quoting now the particular paragraphs 
which the Guild feels substantiate their case. 

61. You attributed the accident in that case 
to bad ballasting 


62. Insufficient ballast and bad trim, was it 
not ? Yes. 

Lord Shand. 

63. Did you attribute the accident to that ? 
That is the point one would like to know, be- 
cause it does not come under the references 
before us without that. You said she had not 
sufficient ballast ; you did not refer to what the 
character of the ballast was ? There was little 
donbt it had considerable bearing on the fiite ot 



.9 March 1903.] 

Mr. Moore. 


Lord Shand continued, 
the ship tho character of the ballast as well- 
Txiis was mud, or something, and {j^otting 
wet made it faulty for tho for which it 
was used. In the case of the " Nonpareil " in 
the Court of Inquiry, Mr. Gilbert G. Kennedy 
was the Judge ; the Nautical Assessors were 
Captain A. Ronaldson, Captain Kennett Hore 
ana Captain (now Rear- Admiral) G. T. H. Boyes. 
The Court in their Judgment said that she was 
not prematurely abandoned, and that the cause 
of her loss was that she " was insufficiently bal- 
lasted to withstand the weather she encoun- 


64. What port did she sail from ? From New 
York to Java. 

(The Report on the ship " Nonpareil " 
was handed in.) 

In the case of the " Dominion " sailing ship 
which left Honolulu (I do not think the Report 
says whore she was bound to) Captain Cunmg- 
hame was again the Inspector and Captam 
Cuninghanie at the conclusion of his judgment 
says : " Having regard, therefore, to the quality 
of ballast and the trim in which the " Dominion " 
was when she left Honolulu, as inferred from the 
evidence placed before me, I am of opinion she 
was not m a safe condition for encountering 
bad weather." 

The Report on the " Doirinion " is 
handed in. 

Lord Shavd. 

65. That is a case which would have been 
provided for by the Merchant Shipping Act ; 
she might have been stopped sailing as being in 
an unsafe condition ? She could not in this 
case, my Lord, because she was sailing from a 
foreign p-rt, and the Board cannot at present 
exercise their powers in that direction there. 


66. Now will you go through a few other 
cases or any others that are more remarkable or 
perhaps rather different. You have given us 
now five ? With your permission I will quote 
these cases briefly, and hand the reports in. 

Lord Shand. 

67. That will be the best way of dealing with 
them ? The steamer " Ethiopia," a case of in- 
sufficient ballast, is referred to; the loss of 
t'le ship '"Perseverance" and 28 lives; the 
" Midas " in which all hands were lost. I think 
I mentioned that case. 


68. Where did that vessel sail from ? The 
" Midas " was bound from Nagasaki to Portland, 
Oregon. Then there is the steamer " Trefusis " 
and the sailing ship " Limache." The steamer 
"Trefusis " I might say a word about. She was 
bound from Rotterdam, homeward, to a port in 
the United Kingdom. 

69. Was she lost ? She was stranded, my 
Lord. The .sailing ship " Moel Tryvan " 1 have 
previously mentioned the ship 'which broke 
away from the tug boat. 

Chairman continued. 

70. What is the " Limache " ? That is a case 
of tho shifting of ballast. That would cuter into 
the reference as to improper ballasting, my Lord. 

71. As to improper ballasting; supjiose yon 
had the light load line, would the light load line 
prevent or affect tliat question ? That would 
not prevent the improper ballasting. 

72. It would not affect the question of the 
shifting of ballast ? The improper ballasting 
I was going to allude to later on and to quote 
the cases. 

Lord Shand. 

73. Would not the one thing run very much 
into the other the improper ballasting and the 
load line ? It is the shifting of the ballast, my 
Lord, that is dangerous. The light load line 
would not provide for that. It would not 
provide for the shifting of loose ballast. 


74. I see here you have got several cases ot 
the shifting of ballast ? Yes, my Lord. 

Viscount Ridley. 

7.5. Is there any case amongst yours of a ship 
sailing from a homo port. All the cases vou 
have given us have been cases of ship.s sailing 
from foreign ports ? The " Albion " left Mary- 
port. The Guild consider the iniproper ballasting 
a very important point, my Lord, a.s well as 
the insufficient ballasting. The " Horaclides " 
which left Liverpool verv recently, drifted " on 
to Taylors Bank in the Jliver Mersey owing to 
her becoming unmanageable." The Court said 
that she was light and in her then trim she was 
not in a fit state to encounter such weather. 
Those, my Lord, are cases dealt with. 

(The Reports with reference to the ships 
" Ethiopia, ' " Perseverance," " Midas." 
" Limache," " Trefusis," " Moel Tryvan," 
" Albion," and " Heraclides " are handed in.) 

Lord Muskerry. 

76. You have not mentioned the - " Kaisari ? " 
That is not a case affected from a home port 
as 1 am asked. 

77. She went out and arrived at Mauritius ? 
That is not a case of leaving a home port. The 
Report says with regard to that vessel, the 
" Kaisari " (this Court was held at Mauritius), 
" once the vessel telt the full force of the hurri- 
cane, she no longer steered, and simply drifted 
for upwards of 48 hours, till slip struck the rocks 
at Reunion, where she was wrecked. Tne 
Marine Board can therefore attach no blame to 
anyone in connection with the loss. Tlie Board, 
however, consider that a much larger quantity of 
ballast than the quantity the " Kaisari " had on 
beard should be carried by steamers navigating 
the seas in the hurricane season. It is true that 
in ordinary weather, this quantity is sufficient, 
but it is quite inadequate to enable a vessel to 
steam against bad weather, as when such weather 
is met the vessel becomes helpless ; whereas it is 
almost certain that if the " Kaisari " had been 
properlv ballasted, she would not have been 
lost." 1 may say thar, "the captain, the chief 



9 March 1903.] 

Mr. Moore. 


Lord Muskerry continued, 
and the third officers and chief engineer and 
19 of the crew were drowned," in that casualty. 

(The Report with reference to the S.S. 
" Kaisari " is handed in.) 

The case of the " Buckingham " is the most 
recent case which has happened, although we 
vmderstand that there are one or two cases of 
Board of Trade Incjuiries pending, where the 
question of insufficient ballasting will be a 
material point. That, my Lord, is a vessel leaving 
a home port, Bo'ness. 


78. What happend to her ? She was in water 
ballast and had about 400 tons of bunker coal 
on board and two days later when off Timpan 
Head, Stornoway, a fresh gale sprang up and 
increased until the vessel became unmanage- 
able, and after a vain attempt to take her into 
Loch Broom, she was brought up in Erard 
Bay where she ran aground. It was while 
launching a port jolly-boat that Finlayson 
was drowned." That is one of the crew was 
drowned. " The stranding of the vessel was due 
to her becoming unmanageable owing to her 
light condition in a very strong gale." 

79. That was a sailing from a home port ? 
That was from Bo'ness, mj^ Lord. 

80. She was not considered by the Inspector 
of the Board of Trade to be insufficiently 
ballasted, or in a dangerous state when she left 
that port ? I have no information with regard 
to that, my Lord. We have not yet received the 
full official report from the Board of Trade ; I 
have been reading from a newspaper cutting. 
Then I might mention another case which 
seems to refer to this question of the dangers of 
light ships the case of the " Winkfield." That 
is the case of a steamer in the Manchester Ship 
Canal. I quote here from parts of the 
Judgment of Mr. Justice Bucknifl in that case. 
The Manchester Ship Canal Company sued 
the owners of the ' Winkfield " for damages. 
It appears that this steamer in the course of 
a voyage through the Manchester Ship Canal 
parted the ropes of her stern tug, carried away 
the check ropes made fast ashore, and after 
colliding with and smking the tug ahead 
crashed through the Lock gates and plunged 
down a drop of nearly 16 feet into the canal be- 
low, where she also collided with a mud barge. 
Mr. Justice Bucknill gave judgment for the 
Manchester Ship Canal Company. The damages 
must be (I am not quite sure about the amount) 
somewhere about 30,000i. In the course of Mr. 
Justice Bucknill's judgment, he said that this 
ship a vessel over 4,000 tons gross register was, 
to describe her as described by her master, in 
the canal before she entered the lock, 
so light that she might be likened to a balloon. 
There was blowing, at that time a moderate 
gale of wind down the canal, and therefore 
dead astern of the steamer. The " Winkfield " 
proceeded into the lock with, there can be no 
doubt in that weather and with the vessel so 
light that she was described to be like a balloon 
on the water, a very high side, and she ought to 
have been navigated with the nearest possible 
care and oaution. One would have thought 



Chairman continued, 
that the wind itself would have supplied 
sufficient motive power to the ship, she being 
kept straight by the tug ahead and the tu 
astern, for the engine power to have been use( 
to a small extent. The Guild are of opinion 
that this casualty, it certainly seems, was due to 
the vessel being so light that she took charge 
(I put it nautically), and the tug astern and the 
check ropes were unable to hold her, and thus 
she crashed through the lock gates. 

Lord Sliand. 

81. Was it Mr. Justice Bucknill's view that 
the accident was due to that ? That was not 
my Lord ; that was the opinion of the Guild. 

82. '\^^lat was the ground of the judgment ? 
1 think that was the ground of the judgment of 
Mr. Justice Bucknill. 


83. I think you said, did not you, that in Mr. 
Justice Bucknill's judgment he said that this 
ship the vessel so and so was so light that 
she might be likened to a balloon ? Yes, that 
is the point that the Guild are working on. 

Lord Shand. 

84. I understood that he did not put his 
judgment entirely on that ? I was just going 
to mention, my Lord, that the Guild are of 

85. I was not asking the Guild's opinion, but 
Mr. Justice Bucknill's. It is all very well to 
select passages, but I understood from some 
passages that were read that he blamed the 
Captain there for not taking sufficient care or 
exercising sufficient skill with the light-vessel? 
He says : " I find that this disaster was caused 
by negligent navigation on the part of those on 
board the steamer, by having too great a speed, 
and by the orders not being carried out, if they 
were given." 

86. You state that this, as I understand, is 
the Guild's view. You are putting it very 
strongly as you go along in reading these 
passages, but one liKes to see what produced the 
casualty in the opinion of the Judge always ? 
The Guild only wish to mention this case, not 
to quote it particularly, in regard to a vessel 
being like a balloon. 


87. Was this a case investigated by the 
Court of the Board of Trade ? No, my Lord 

88. This was a case of an action for dam- 
ages ? This was a case for damages. 

89.; But it was not investigated as well by a 
Board of Trade Inquiry { No, my Lord. 

Lord Inverdyde. 

90. Was the " Winkfield " going up the canal 
or down the canal ; was she going to sea ? It 
says, " In the course of a voyage from Manchester 
to Runcorn." Well, that is on the canal all the 
way I could not say more than that. 

91. She was going from one dock to another 
then? Yes, in the canal agoing along the 

B 92. You 



J) March 1903.] 

Mr. MooBE. 


Lord Inverclycle continued. 

92. You do not know whether she was going 
to sea? I cannot ttnd, my Lord, in the Reuort, 
what her movements were to be. The Guild 
wish to point to the accident of her being like a 
balloon which is the case they feel with many 
ships proceeding to sea. Of course there is no 
doubt that this particular ship was on the canal. 

Lord Shand. 

93. Of course you see to a certain extent it 
is important to ascertain the cause of the 
accident when you find a number of accidents ? 
Yes, my Lord. 

94. We have to look to the point as to the 
number of accidents in contrast with the number 
of ships that go from place to place, which the 
noble Earl pointed out at the very oeginningof the 
inauiry ? Yes, my Lord. Of course the Guild 
feel that the strength of their case lies in the 
judgments of these courts of inquiry into cases 
where there has been loss of life. They feel 
that when loss of life has been attributed to a 
preventible cause it requires legislation to meet 


95. A noble Lord on my right asked the ques- 
tion about this ship, whether she was going from 
dock to dock or whether she was going to sea, 
which makes a considerable difference. It is 
possible that an inquiry might not be held if 
she is merely going from Manchester to Liver- 
pool or from Liverpool to Manchester ? Yes, 
ray Lord ; unfortunately I am not able to say 
anything more on that point. 

96. Ot course, it is hardly a case that will 
come very much under our reference. Will you 
go on with your further evidence ? As regards 
the question of improper ballasting, the securing 
of ballast, the Guild thinks very necessary also, 
holding very strongly that loose ballast such as 
sand, &c. shingle and that sort of thing 
being peculiarly liable to shift, there should be 
proper regulations established to prevent it. 
Several cases 1 have mentioned, my Lord, where 
that question of the shifting of ballast has been 
responsible for disaster. In the case of the 
" Moel Tryvan " judgment there is special men- 
tion made of the necessity of securing ballast. 
The Government provides that precautions shall 
be adopted in regard to securing the grain 
cargoes, that is, to prevent them from shifting; 
and the Guild feel that if that is necessary in the 
case of grain cargoes loose ballast also should be 
properly secured. 

98. In the first instance, you do not desire to 
lay down yourselves the fixing of a light load 
line ; you want to leave that to a committee of 
experts, do you ? To a committee of experts in 
exactly the same way as the deep load line is 
fixed by Lloyd's Registry. 

98. That is rather a different point to the 
point of the grain cargo ? Oh, yes, my Lord. 

99. Very well ; will you go on, please ? Those 
opposing the establishment of a light load line 
(tne shipowners) urge that foreign ships should 
have the same restrictions imposed upon them 
in the matter of live saving, and the Guild arc 
in cordial agreement with this. At the same 
time it cannot be held that the Board of Trade 

Chairman continued. 

do not exercise a certain amount of supervision 
over foreign ships in Baitish ports ; and according 
to latest returns, the Guild understands that it is 
the case that, despite the large preponderance of 
British vessels in our home ports, tlie number of 
detentions tor unseaworthiness are far higlior in 
the case of foreigners than in the case of our 
own ships ; but so far as we can gather at the 
present time, we do not think that any of 
those detentions have been on the score ot 
insufficient ballasting. The Guild do not anticipate 
bad results from these restrictions being placed 
on foreign ships ; in fact many of these latter 
(these foreign vessels) voluntarily fix a deep load 
line in order to comply with the regulations of 
the underwriters of this country with whom 
many of these foreign vessels are insured or 
partly insured ; and so far as can be gathered 
the Guild are of opinion that many ship- 
owners (some of whom even now cordially 
approve of a light load lino) would not object 
were it applied to foreigners, and the Guild see 
no difficulty in this as it could be done in the 
shape of amendments to the law, such as 
have recently been drawn up by the Liverpool 
Steamship Owners' Association. They have 
drawn up some amendments to the Merchant 
Shipping Act imposing life saving restrictions on 
foreigners, equally with British shipowners ; 
and the Guild consider that this question of a 
light load line could be covered in a similar 
manner. Then again, the Guild hold that 
insufficiently ballasted ships are not only a 
danger to themselves but to other ships which 
they may meet, which are perfectly seaworthy ;- 
and as an instance of this I may mention the 
stranding of the " Heraclides" (which I have 
previously mentioned) where it was stated in 
evidence, and not controverted, that one ot the 
large passenger steamers running between 
Dublin and Liverpool, very narrowly escaped. 
coUision with the " Heraclides " owing to this 
latter steamer suddenly becoming unmanage- 
able through insufficient ballast, and going across 
the bows of the Dublin steamer. That was a 
serious casualty very narrowly escaped. 

100. Is there evidence that there are other 
cases besides the case of this particular ship 
being dangerous to others from being unmanage- 
able ; do you hear of other cases ? Not that I 
can quote inv'self, my Lord, with any degree of 
certainty. "Then it is urged as against the 
adoption of a light load line that better pro- 
vision is now being made, owing to the agitation 
which has been created, on merchant ships in 
the way of providing space for water ballast, 
and that therefore it is not necessary that such 
a provision as a light load line should be made ; . 
but the Guild desire to state that from accidents- 
to steamers in water ballast (some of those- 
which I have quoted previous^, my Lord) it 
.seems very evident that sufficient provision is 
not made even now in regard to sufficient water 
ballast ; and I may add also that there are cases 
which have happened where those water ballast 
spaces spaces which are supposed to be for. 
ballast, nave not been properly availed ot. 
For instance, in the inquiry into the loss ot the 
" Heraclides " it was found that one of the spaces 
for ballast was used as a coal bunker ; also, in 




9 March 1903.] 

Mr. Moore. 


Chairman continued. 

the case of the " Ardanbhan " one of the tanks 
could not be used. The report says : " On 
leaving Gravesend the two main ballast tanks 
were tilled, but not her fore or after peak 
tanks, on account of the pipe to the after 
peak tank being broken. This pipe was used 
for tilling the tank from the deck, and 
led down into the tank through the cabin ; 
and it was stated that if an attempt had been 
made to till the tank while the pipe remained 
broken the cabin would probably have been 
flooded, and that therefore the tank could not 
be used on this occasion. Evidently the same 
condition of things had existed for a consider- 
able time, as the master informed the Court 
that the former master had mentioned the 
defect to him. The chief engineer also admitted 
that he was aware of the broken pipe, though 
only just before starting from Gravesend, and 
stated that he had made no report of it, as the 
vessel was to be overhauled at Deptford on her 
return from the present voyage, when the defect 
would be included in his list of repairs. Had 
this tank been filled the propeller would have 
been considerably less out of water than it 
was, though the superintending engineer of the 
company stated that it would have been im- 
mersed only four inches more. Considering 
that this tank was right aft in the end of the 
vessel, and would contain about thirty tons of 
waUT, the Court is of opinion that the immer- 
sion would have been greater." 

101. Is that a case where the Court decided 
that the stranding (I think it was stranding, 
was it not) was in consequence of insufficient 
ballast ? The Court in the course of their judg- 
ment in reply to one of the inquiries on the part 
ot the Board of Trade, asking whether the ship 
wa.s properly and sufficiently ballasted and in 
good seaworthy trim, found that " she was not 
at that time properly and sufficiently ballasted 
and in good seaworthy trim ; " and, my Lord, it 
is proper to say that the court, so far as I gather, 
do not attribute that directly to the casualty, 
but it points out that that ship was in a 
dangerous condition through being insufficiently 

Lord Slumd. 

102. That particular case apparently would 
not have been discovered by the inspector passing 
over the vessel unless the officers on board had 
told him that so-and-so had a difficulty with 
such-and-such things i Yes. 

103. It is really not a case attributable to any- 
thing but the carelessness of servants ? The 
report says : " At this time it was blowing a 
strong gale, and there was a heavy sea from the 
N.E. accompanied by hail and snow squalls. 
The weather had been much the same during 
all the night ; and the vessel being so light in 
the water had become almost unmanageable." 


104. Now will you go on with what you were 
saying ? Yes, my Lord. Then the Guild wish 
to state that they have certainly no desire that 
unnecessary restrictions should be imposed upon 
shipowners ; but they consider that no pecuniary 


Chairman continued. 

considerations allow for the jeopardising of the 
lives of mariners. The shipowners undoubtedly 
lose very greatly from a monetary point of view 
when vessels are insufficiently ballasted owing 
to the great length of time they take in making 
even short passages. I may say that I per- 
sonally know of several cases that happened 
recently where vessels proceeding from Liverpool 
to Cardiff have been perhaps four days when 
they should have done the passage in 36 
hours, but they were out of hand on several 
occasions ; and delays such as those the Guild 
state mean loss to the shipowner, perhaps very 
considerable, if it leads to the losing of a charter. 
I ha,ve here, my Lord, the statement of a well- 
known shipowner to the effect that he has 
known under-ballasted vessels three weeks 
getting from Hamburg to Cardiff, and has spent 
many an anxious time crossing the Atlantic in 
similar vessels. I have also to state, my Lord, 
that unfortunately there is a very great reluct- 
ance on the part of shipmasters, officers and 
pilots to give evidence in support of this insti- 
tution of the light load line owing to the very 
pronounced opposition which has been hitherto 
afforded by tne shipowners ; they are reluctant 
to come forward as they feel that it would 
prejudice their position in regard to their future 

Lord Shand. 

105. Do you say that that feeling extends to 
shipowners as well as to shipmasters ? The re- 
luctance is on the part of shipmasters, officers 
and pilots who are employed by shipowners. 

106. I understand you not shipowners ? No, 
not shipowners, my Lord; and as some proof 
that even shipowners consider that a light load 
line is inevitable I might quote a remark 
of Captain T. W. Pinkney, of the firm of 
Pinkney & Co., shipowners. He was the 
chairman of the Sunderland Shipowners 
Society, and at the last annual meeting in his 
speech he stated that the light load line was 
also a serious matter, and one which they would 
all have to deal with when buying new ships ; it 
was sure to come ; they would have to adopt a 
light load line. Then again, in regard to the 
question of restrictions imposed upon British 
shipowners, the Guild are of opinion that it is 
not only British shipowners who have to labour 
under restrictions, but they feel that as foreign 
merchant navies develop (of course, hitherto 
they have been a long way behind our own 
Merchant Service) foreign powers will equally 
impose restrictions upon their shipowners in 
regard to the safety of the lives of their sub- 
jects ; and, as some proof of that, I might state 
that the adoption of a deep load line is at 
present under the consideration of the German, 
French, Russian, and Dutch governments ; also 
in Germany there are restrictions in regard to 
seamen; and the conditions under which the 
shipowners labour in respect to them are 
perhaps more severe in fact than any that 
pertain to British shipowners. I might just 
quote an extract from the " Shipping Gazette ' 
of a statement made at a meeting of the Cham- 
ber of Deputies in Paris, dealing with matters 
affecting their Merchant Service: "Count 

jj 2 d'Agoult 



9 March 1903.] 

Mr. Moore. , 


Lord Sfuiiul continued. 

d'Agoult then proposed an additional article, to 
be numbered 1 la, with the object of requiring a 
load line on all ships by a French law. He 
admitted that most French ships bore a load 
line, but he complained that it was im- 

Stsed by the English Board of Trade, 
e thought it inconsistent with the dignity of 
France that her merchant ships should be 
subject to foreign legislation, and that a national 
law should be passed on the subject." It was 
replied that "the Ministry of Marine had the 
matter under consideration, and the Chamber 
decided that the question should be referred to 
that body." Then I may say that the Hamburg 
American Line have decided to mark a load 
line on all the vessels. The German Emperor 
forwarded a congratulatory message stating that 
it was " a great step forward in the social politics 
of the ocean." 

Lord Brnssey. 

107. That is the deep load line ? I am 

S quoting this case, my Lord, simply to show that 
oreign Powers are beginning, with the increase 
in their merchant navies, to impose upon their 
ships restrictions in the same way. 


108. But that is the deep load line, not a light 
load line ? That is the deep load line. Also, in 
regard to Germany, it appears here from an 
extract I have in my hand that proposals have 
been submitted to the Government with regard 
to seamen's regulations on German ships, and it 
appears also that a Special Commission of the 
Reichstag made recommendations both in regard 
to a deep load line and a minimum load line. 

Lord Shand. 

109. Where was that, do you say ? In 

110. What part of Germany? The German 

111. The Government of Germany ? Yes 
well, a Special Commission of the Reichstag. 


112. Oh, it was a Special Commission ot the 
Reichstag that made that report ? Yes ; it says : 
" The changes in the law form part of a larger 
and more sweeping scheme, favoured by the 
Special Commission of the Reichstag, the more 
comprehensive project embracing both a maxi- 
mum and a mimmum load line." 

Lord Shand. 

113. It merely mentions that apparently; it 
does not say that it recommends it ? It speaks 
of a " larger and more sweeping scheme." 

114. Certainly; but I do not think they re- 
commend anything like a light load line in the 
passage you have read ? Well, that is an infe- 
rence which the Guild have drawn from that 
statement, but no doubt that could be ascer- 
tained later. 


115. ^Vhat was the date of that, do you 
know ? 1902. 

Lord Shand. 

116. You had better put in that extract; as 
you read it, I do not think there is any such 
recommendation there (the document is lutiuled 
in) ? This is taken from a letter in " Fairplay " 
of 8th May 1902. It appears that there are 
greater restrictions, for instance, being placed 
upon shipowners in regard to their seamen in 
Germany, that seamen are not allowed to work 
more than ten hours per day, and in the Tropics 
not more than eight hours per day, which is 
very different to what prevails in regard to 
British sailors. The Guild only desire to mention 
those points in order to indicate that as time 
goes on they think Foreign Governments will 
impose the same restrictions, in due time, as the 
British Government. 


117. Now have you finished ; is that all your 
evidence ? I think so, my Lord. 

118. You say there are different classes of 
the shipping community who have expressed 
opinions have you any answer or evidence to 
give us to those classes ? If I might I would 
mention the case of the " Bothilde Russ " (she 
was a foreign vessel which recently went ashore 
at Holyhead) as an argument in favour of the 
enforcement of the light load line, and as a 
reason why it should be imposed upon foreign 
ships. Then, with regard to the question of 
asking the State to take up this question of the 
light load line, the Guild feel that they have 
also received very strong support in the expres- 
sion of opinions by most of tne leading shipping 
interests, that is in regard to ship-owners, snip- 
masters and seamen, underwriters, nautical 
assessors, nautical societies, nautical experts, 
engineers, pilots and others, also a Judge of the 
Admiralty Court. 

Lord Slian/:l. 

119. What is the evidence of all that ? You' 
know you have made a very broad statement, 
for example " shipowners." ? We have had ex- 
pressions of opinion from two shipowners in 
Liverpool to the Guild to the effect , that they 
approve of a light load line. 


120. There is another point I do not know 
whether you have mentioned it as to the 
remedy which was suggested of the underwriters - 
fixing higher insurance rates ; that has some- 
times been put forward instead of having a light 
load line, has it not ? Yes, my Lord. It is con- 
sidered that the underwriters can look after their 
own interests, but the Guild feel that the ques- 
tion of the safety of life is not one which should 
so to speek be regulated by the question of in- 
surance premiums ; and thev consider also that 
if the underwriters charge higher premiums for 
insurance it is perfectly likely tnat the shipowners . 
will charge higher rates of freight ; and that, in 
consequence, would be in the nature of hamper- 
ing trade. 

121. You have not anything you wish to say 
more ? No, my Lord. 

122. There is one other question I would 
rather like to ask you ; it is really for the sake 
of getting it clearly before the Comnattee what 




9 March 1903.] 

Mr. Moore. 


Cliairman continued, 
class of vessels require this legislation ? It is 
not all vessels. For instance, there is a con- 
siderable number of vessels that are hardly ever 
in ballast, I suppose they always bring back 
cargo ? Yes, my Lord. In the case of the large 
hners, and in fact to the best class of ships, and 
shipowners the placing of the light load line 
the Guild consider woiud not make an atom of 

123. Can you tell us what proportion of the 
shipping trade trading from or trading to this 
country would come under the category of 
vessels for which it is necessary to have the 
light load line that is to say, where they go 
out or come back in ballast mstead of having 
cargo both ways ? I could not, my Lord. The 
opinion of the Guild is that the practice of in- 
sutKcient ballasting is a very extensive practice. 
That is all I could say. 

124. But the great liners do not require this 
light load line ? Oh, no ; it would not make 
an atom of difference to the liners. 

125. They go beyond what are called " tramp " 
ships, I suppose; your remarks go beyond 
those ? If 1 may say so, my remarks apply 
chiefly to the trampships as regards the light 
load line. 

126. Still, there are others which trade con- 
siderable distances which are of a higher class 
than tramp ships ? Oh, yes ; many ships that 
are really well ballasted ; and the shipowners see 
that this is attended to. 

127. Then there is the question of the shifting 
of ballast and insafficient ballast. The insuffi- 
cient ballasting, I suppose, is met by the light 
load line ? Yes. 

128. But the shifting of the ballast is not as I 
understand you ? No. That could be pre- 
vented by the form of regulations adopted by 
the Board of Trade. I think that is a way in 
which it could be done a similar way to" the 
method they have of regulating the prevention 
of grain cargoes from f^hifting. In regard to 
gram cargoes it is done, but not in the case of 
loose ballast. 

Lord Brassey. 

129. Under the existing state of the law, is 
it not the case that the shipowner is responsible 
for sending the ship to sea in a seaworthy state ? 
^Yes, my Lord. 

130. If you fix a light -load line, to that extent 
you relieve the shipowner of his responsibility ? 
You would in the matter of ballasting, yes ; 
and I might say, in regard to that, that prac- 
tically there is very great difficulty in fixing 
responsibility upon the shipowner in the matter, 
because it is usually said by the shipowner that 
he allows his captain discretionary powers. 

131. But the law gives power to the Board of 
Trade to enforce the responsibility of the ship- 
owner by very adequate sanctions by adequate 
penalties is not that the case ? An owner may 
be punished for .sending his ships to sea in an 
unseaworthy condition, but as I said, it Is ex- 
tremely difficult to fix the responsibility on the 
owner, because he usually states that it is at the 
discretion of the master ; and, my Lord, I might 
mention for instance the case of the " Sylviana." 
It is said in the report that, " The owners alone 

Lord Bmssey continued, 
were responsible for the ballasting of the vessel 
This matter was not left in the hands of the mas- 
ter, nor was he consulted about it." 


132. What are you quoting from now? This 

IS the report on the formal investigation, the 
Board of Trade inquiry. ISothing further, I 
may say, was done in regard to that case. 

Lord Brassey. 

133. I presume you are acquainted generally 
with the procedure in the case of Courts of In- 
quiry .P Y'es, my Lord, I am very familiar with 

134. Is not this the procedure in the 
case of an in inquiry: When on the coast 
of the United Kingdom or in any part of the 
sea, any loss or material damage occurs and any 
witness or any evidence is obtainable as to the 
circumstances under which the loss occurred, a. 
preliminary inquiry will e held; that is so, is 
it not ? Yes, my Lord. 

135. And may be held by any person op- 
pointed by the Board of Trade? Yes; gene- 
rally by the Receiver of Wrecks. 

136. Where, as the result of this preliminary 
inquiry, it appears requisite to the person hold- 
ing that inquiry on the part of the Board of 
Trade that a formal investigation should be held, 
then it is held, is it not, by a Wreck Commis- 
sioner assisted by two professional assessors? 
Not a " Wreck Commissioner," my Lord. It is 
usually a stipendiary magistrate or two lay 
magistrates assisted by two nautical assessors. 

137. That, is so. Then, after that court has 
held this formal investigation, it makes a report,, 
does it not, to the Board of Trade? Yes, my 

138. And the Board of Trade, having received 
that report, is in this position, is it not : It has 
power to prosecute the shipowner? ^Yes, my 

139. And if it is proved that any person sends 
a ship to sea in an unseaworthy state, and that 
thereby life has been endangered, he becomes^ 
guilty of a misdemeanour ? That is so ; yes, my 

140. Then with regard to the legal position 
of the shipmaster, is not this the true state of 
the law that if the master of a British ship 
knowingly takes the ship to sea in an unsea- 
worthy state, he is guilty of a misdemeanour? 

141. Therefore, if the shipmaster has, as you 
stated to us, under instructions from his owner 
had an unsafe limitation put upon the amount 
of ballast space in his ship, he is guilty of a 
misdemeanour if he assents to that instruction 
which he has received from his shipowner ; that 
is so, is it not that is his legal position ? Yes, 
my Lord ; but unfortunately the shipmaster js 
in a difficult po.sition ; he cannot say exactly 
what he thinks. 

142. As you have said, he has a difficulty in 
acting upon his profesoional knowledge, hut still 
his legal liability is of a very grave nature ; that 
is so, is it not ? Yes. 

143. Are you fully satisfied with the results 




9 March 1903.] 

Mr. MooBK. 


Lord Brassey continued, 
of the rule which is now in force with regard to 
the fixing of the deep load line? Yes. 

144. I Jo you consider that it has effectually 
prevented ships from being sent to sea overladen ? 
Yes, my Lord. 

145. You think so? Yes. 

146. Do you think, under the existing state of 
the law, that no ships are sent to sea overladen? 
I say that on my own responsibility, so far as 
I can "judge from the feelings of our members, 
they consider that the deep load line has been 
wisely fixed and prevents overloading. 

147. And that, therefore, ships are no longer 
sent to sea overladen?- So far as I can say from 
opinions I have had from members, my Lord. 

148. The load line, as you have told us, is 
fixed in accordance with Lloyd's rules ; that is 
so, is it not? Yes, Lloyd's Register. 

149. Have you reason to believe that the ex- 
pert advisers of Lloyd's are prej^ared to lay down 
fixed rules with regard to the light load line? 
We have not, but we think that they would be 
able to do so. 

150. You believe they would? We do. . 

151. And you do not see any great difiiculty 
in exercising proper and fair discretion as re- 
gards the different vovages that may be under- 
taken the mere coastwise voyage and an over- 
sea voyage or any difficulty in exercising a 
proper discretion with regard to the season of 
the year and all those other considerations? 
No, my Lord. The Guild wish to put forward 
very strongly in regard to coastwise voyages that 
they really are the most dangerous voyages ; and 
that is just there where the greater necesity of 
the light load line should come in ; and that bad 
weather may be equally expeiienced in summer 
as in winter. 

152. Yes, but is there not a more ready oppor- 
tunity of making for a port ; there is a protection 
in that, is not there ? But, my Lord, when those 
coasting vessels are insufficiently ballasted they 
are unmanageable, and very frequently unable 
to make for a port that they desire. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

153. I think you say that a light load line is 
more necessary in short voyages than in long, 
but what information have you with regard to 
loss of life or loss of ships in regard to coastwise 
voyages? ^Well, there are the statistics I have 
lirought forward here. A good many of these 
steamers show the dangers of these light ships 
being near the coast, being insufficiently ballasted 
and unmanageable. 

154. But I think, you said that on a voyage 
along the coast from one port to another the light 
load line was more necessary than on deep sea 
voyages? Because the ships are in a much more 
dangerous position being near the coast, and also 
liable to meet many other steamers, and if they 
are unmanageable they are a danger to the other 

155. What cases can you give of accidents or 
loss of life or of ships on those short coastwise 
-voyages? I think there are one or two here that 
I have mentioned, my Lord. The case of the 
' Sylviana " is one. lliat is really the cause of 
tixe stranding in all cases the ships having been 

Lord Inverclyde continued. 

near the coast naturally. There is the '' Buck- 
ingham," then there is the " Ardanbhan " in 
that case I said the vessel had become almost un- 
manageable. Most of these cases of steamers 
deal with stranding on the coast. 

156. Do you find that there has been an in- 
crease in these cases, or a decrease, within the 
last few years? So far as we can judge, my Lord, 
there has been an increase, and there must have 
been several cases where shi{)s have been light, 
and have stranded, but as to which the Board of 
Trade have not held any inquiry. It is at the 
discretion of the Board of Trade as to whether 
they hold an inquiry ; and in one or two catses 
it seems that the Board of Trade, although the 
ships went ashore (and we believe that they went 
ashore through insufficient ballast), held no in- 

157. Can j^ou give us any percentage of the 
cases of light ballasting last year compared with years ago, or anj'thing of that sort ? I could 
not, my Lord, I am sorry to say. 

158. But you think there has been an increase ? 
Yes, so far as we can judge. 

Lord Shand. 

159. Upon the cases which you give 
us, I understand jou found that statement? 
Yes, in all cases. 

160. You say there has been an increase in 
later years in all cases? The practice is more 
general even now as to insufficient ballasting. 

161. Yes, but you were asked about the in- 
crease of accidents? Oh, the increase of acci- 
dents ! Yes, we think there has been an increase 
of accidents. 

162. You only mention 15 cases? In three 
years, my Lord. 

163. Has there been any incresise year after 
year? I think that those statistics where the 
question of insufficient ballasting is mentioned 
show rather a considerable increase on previous 

Lord Inverclyde. 

164. Do you say the Board of Trade has not 
got sufficient power to deal with cases of under 
ballasting? What the Guild desire to state is 
that there should be some definite authority in 
the fixing of the light load line. They do not 
wish to say that either shipowners or shipmasters 
deliberately send their ships to sea insufficiently 
ballasted ; but what the Guild think is neces- 
sary is that there should be some definite stan- 
dard, fixed by a proper authority, instead of its 
being left to" the discretion of the owner, or the 
master, or the builder, or whatever it might be. 

165. Yes ; but it is not left to the discretion 
of the owner, or the master, if the Board of Trade 
liave powei- to do this? The Guild state, in re- 
gard to that i)oint, that although the Board of 
Trade have the jxjwer, the Board of Trade sur- 
veyors hesitate to exercise that power simply 
because they themselves have no authority to 
work on; they would have to constitute them- 
selves as their own authority. 

166. Then I think you stated that a captain's 
discretionary power in foreign ports is inter- 
fered with by instructions from his owner at 
home not to put on more than a certain amount 
of ballast? Yes. 

167. Do 


9 March 190S] 


Mr. Moore. 


Lord Inverclyde continued. 

167. Do you make that as a general state- 
ment ? As a general statement. 

168. As a thing of common occui-rence? Of 
common occurrence, yes, as expressed by the 
members of the Guild. As I mentioned in the 
case of the " Sylviana " (that i.s a case in point, 
my Lord), the owners said the master "had 
previously reported the unmanageable condi- 
tion of the vessel in water ballast, both to the 
manager, Mr. Frank Lund, and to the marine 
superintendent, Mr. William Copeman. Al- 
though this is denied, the Court is of opinion 
that it is more probable, considering the un- 
manageable condition of the vessel on the two 
previous occas'oas of which he spoke, that he 
would bring the matter to their notice." 

169. Then I think you said that in some cases 
of short voyages the ship was under-ballasted, 
and that she took four days instead of so many 
hours? Yes, my Lord. 

ITO. So that it is not to the advantage of any 
owner of a ship to under-ballast if the ship would 
take more time on the voyage in that condition 
than it would otherwise ? No, my Lord ; not in 
tEat sense. 

Lord Shand. 

171. I understand you are to leave those judg- 
ments with the Committee? Yes, my Lord. 

172. I should like to have the opportunity of 
reading them for the purpose of their being 
checked if there is to be counter-evidence? If 
the Committee desired it, I daresay the Board of 
Trade would furnish them with all the reports. 
Of those cases I have mentioned these are the 
official reports. 

173. It is the judgments one wants particu- 
larly to see? Yes, my Lord. I may say, in re- 
gard to these judgments, I have brought them 
forward to quote particularly the references in 
them to insufficient ballasting and the dangers 
attendant upon that. 

174. I quite follow that; but I would like to 
see the judgments as a whole? Yes, my Lord; 
I have handed them in. 


175. Did you put in the Board of Trade Re- 
ports when you took in your hand the Paper ? 
Those are the Board of Trade Eeports, my 

Lord Shand. 

176. Then in regard to the ballast, I under- 
stand it is the mode of ballasting, and not the 

Lord Shand continued, 
material used for ballast^water-ballast and 
things of that kind. The objection of the Guild 
18 to the mode in which the ballasting is done. 
Is it that there is not sufficient ballast ? That 
there is not sufficient ballast, and that in the 
case of loose iballast (that does no(t relate to 
water-ballast, my Lord) that should be secured 
in the same way, for instance, as grain is se- 

177. Quite so ; the material used in ballasting 
is not the special subject of your objection? 
No, my Lord. 



178. Is not there a considerable change now 
as compared with former times in the way in 
which ballasting is carried out on board ships ? 
Are not there new methods of doing it to pre- 
vent the shifting of the ballast, in regard par- 
ticularly to water-ballast? The methods now- 
adays, my Lord, are more universal in the 
nature of, supplying water-ballast that is to 
say, making provision in ships for water-ballast. 

179. But on the same system ? In regard to 
sailing-ships that does not apply. 

180. To the improvement in ships it is due 
a good deal, is it not ? Yes, in the tanks. 

181. In the having of more tanks than there 
used to be? ^Well, that I could not say, my 
Lord. I do not know ' whether it is necessary 
to quote any of the written opinions of member."? 
that we have received or whether it would be 
your desire to have them. I have several here. 

182. We might perhaps have some evidence 
from the members themselves. I do not know how 
that may be? If these opinions were perused 
by your lordships I would have to ask whether 
you would reserve the names of the gentlemen 
and of the ships, because the members them- 
selves who have written them would not care 
about their names or the names of the ships 
being mentioned. 

183. Aa I understand you are now referring 
to the papers you hold in your hand and not to 
anything you have already stated? ^Yes, my 
Lord. These are just a few letters taken from, 
the correspondence addressed to the Guild by 
shipmasters touching on this ballasting question. 
The question is whether you think they are 
worthy of your notice. ; 

184. It is evidence we could not put forward 
in our printed minutes or papers, which makes 
it rather difficult, I think, to receive it. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 
After a short adjournment. 

Me. ALEXANDER ALLAN MILLER is called^ in ; and Examined, as follows : 


185. Will you first of all state your position? 
I am a solicitor practising in Liverpool, where 
I have practised for over twenty-five years. I 
may say that I have bad .wme experience at sea, 
tut that is not the purpose for which I am giving 

Chairman continued. 

evidence here to-day. I am the solicitor !o the 
Merchant Service Guild, of which the last wit- 
ness was the assistant secretary, and I am also 
the solicitor to the Mercantile Marine Associa- 
tion, a similar body of certificated officers be- 



9 March 1903.] 

Mr. Miller. 


Chair^ian continued, 
longing to the Mercantile Marine ; and I have 
a Tery considerable connection amongst masters 
and officers outside both those bodies. Therefore 
I have had good oppoi-tunities, I think, of know- 
ing the feelings of the masters and officers of the 
service on the question of the Light Load Line 
Bill. So far aa I have been able to gather, that 
opinion is unanimous that the practice of send- 
ing British ships to sea in an unseaworthy con- 
dition, owing to under-ballasting and improper 
balla.<ting, prevails to a very great extent, and 
that hardly any ship that goes to sea in ballast 
is in a condition (I am speaking of the class of 
ships known as fa-amp ships) to keep off a lee 
shore in bad^ weather. 

Lord Shand. 

186. I must interrupt you with one question : 
You say the opinion js^unanimous ? So far as 
I have been able to gather. 

187. The opinion of whom of what class? 
Of the officers and captains of the mercantile 
marine certificated officers and captains. I 
have been informed by a very large number of 
masters, in answer to inquiries I ought to say, 
that in taking vessels across the Atlantic in bal- 
last they rarely make a passage in which at some 
period or other the ship does not refuse to steer 
and becomes unmanageable, and that it is a con- 
stant practice with them to have to hoist the red 
lights, signifying that the vessel is not under 
control, so that other vessels cam keep out of their 
"way. That is a common practice. The feeling, 
so far as I have been able to gather (and I have 
taken some pains, as it is a subject in which 
I have had very considerable interest), amongst 
the officers and masters of the mercantile marine 
is very strong in support of the Light Load Line 
Bill for two reasons principally; firstly, because 
they feel that their lives are often unjustifiably 
risked, and, secondly, they feel very strongly 
that whenever a vessel does happen to blow ashore 
in consequence of insufficient ballast the practice 
has been to place the captain upon his trial, and 
in some cases to suspend his certificate, and in 
others to censure him for taking the ship to sea 
insufficiently ballasted, although it is a matter of 
notoriety that the master has no power or con- 
trol over the ballasting, and especially over the 
ballasting from a home port, where the vessel 
is ballasted and sent out under the immediate 
superintendence of her owners ; and they feel 
the injustice of this position more when it is 
considered that a vessel may go for years in the 
same ballast trim with tne approval of her 
owners and the tacit assent of the authorities, 
and then, when she happens to meet with bad 
weather, with a lee shore, the only person thai 
has ever been singled out for punishment has 
been the master. And a further great injustice 
is that the master cannot really get a fair trial 
without risking his situation, and. possibly, his 
future, because, if he says that in his opinion 
the ship was under-ballasted, which he really 
believes, he is certainly at once dismissed by his 
owners, and finds it very difficult to obtain em- 
plo\-ment from any other firm. In one case, of 
which I can give particulars, if desired, where 
I appeared for the master in an inquiry is to 

Lord S/iand continued, 
the stranding of a ship which had been lost in 
consequence of insufficient ballast 

Lord Wolverlon. 
188. "Will you give the name? The "Syl- 
viana." The master asked me what he was ta 
say if he was asked whether in his opinion the 
ship was insufficiently ballasted ; he told me that 
he thought she was, and that he had on former 
occasions told the owners that, in the trim they 
sent her to sea in, she was unmanageable. I 
reminded him that he would have to give his 
evidence on oath ; but he told me that a friend 
of his had told him that if he said that the 
ship was under-ballasted he need never look 
for another situation on the north-east coast. At 
the trial he was asked the question, 
and he told the truth ; and I am informed, and 
I believe, that up to the present he has not suc- 
ceeded in getting any further employment ; the 
firm that employed him refxised him a reference, 
and that inquiry took place some 14 months ago. 
That is so far as the opinion of the officers and 
masters of the Mercantile Marine goes. With 
regard to any amendment or amplification of 
the law, the feeling of the masters and officers, 
so far as I have been able to gather it, is that 
the law should be so altered as to fix the punish- 
ment for under-ballasting on the persons en- 
trusted with the real responsibility, and that 
such alterations should be made as would pre- 
vent the master in the future being dealt with 
as a scapegoat. As to the application of any 
alterations to foreign vessels, it is pointed out 
by the British officers and masters that, inas- 
much as these vessels, when unmanageable and 
incapable of being handled, constitute a danger 
to all other vessels navigating in the same waters, 
any alteration in the law should be made 
applicable to them. Those are their views, so 
far as I have been able to ascertain them. I 
may say that I have represented masters on 
several occasions in those Board of Trade In- 
quiries, and if your Lordship will allow me 
to supplement what I have heard to-day as to 
the powers being sufficient at present I would 
like to point out that, so far as I know, when- 
ever a report has been made by a Board of Trade 
Court of Inquiry in which it has been found that 
a ship was under-ballasted, the practice of send- 
ing that ship to sea in the condition in which 
she went was condemned and reprobated very 
strongly, but no steps have ever been taken 
afterwards, and, so far as I know in my expe- 
rience, no steps have ever been taken to prevent 
a ship going to sea in what was admittedly an 
unsafe and unseaworthy condition. I can refer 
to a case rather germane to this point, the case 
nf the " Albion." on which there was a Board of 
Trade inquirv held at West Hartlepool. The 
" Alhicm " had left a British jwrt it was Mary- 
port and was bound to Barry; she put into 
Holyhead, and after leaving Holyhead she was 
blown ashore below the coast of Carnarvon, at 
Aberffraw. The master was tried by a Board of 
Trade Court, and his certificate was suspended ; 
b\it amongst the witnesses called was the prin- 
cipal surveyor of the Board of Trade at one of 
the leading ports of the Kingdi>m, Liverpool I 




9 March 1903.1 

Mr. Miller. 



Lord Wolverton continued, 
believe lie came from ; he produced plans to 
prot'e that a ship in her condition was very 
much under-ballasted and unseaworthy, with the 
lesxdt that the captain was punished and his 
certificate was taken away. I asked him then, 
could he state as an expert, as a principal Board 
of Trade surveyor, what he would consider would 
have been a safe and pioper draught to take 
that vessel out to sea with so as to entail no 
wrong-doing on. the part of any person. He gave 
me a draught, of which I do not remember the 
figures, but on looking at the vessel's displac?- 
mmt scale, and taking his draught as given, it 
turned out that the ship would have required 
9G0 tens moi-e ballast to put her down to the 
position in which the principal Board of Trade 
officer and surveyor would deem her safe. I then 
asked him could he account for the fact that a 
vessel in such a manifestly unseaworthy condi- 
tion should be allowed to leave the port by the 
Board of Trade official, and go from one port 
to another in the United Kingdom. He could 
not account for it ; but he gave an explanation 
that in his opinion the Merchant Shipping Act 
did not entitle them to detain a ship in ballast, 
because the provision of the section was only 
applicable to vessels improperly loaded. I did 
not agree with his legal interpretation. 

189. What section is that in the Merchant 
.Shijiping Act? ^I would not like to say. It is 
the section that refers to vessels improperly 

Lord Shand. 

190. There is a section which says where she 
is not safe to be sent ? " Unsafe," but that 
was his interpretation of the section. What I 
wish to emphasise this point for is this : the im- 
possibility, without a light load line is fixed, 
without there is some standard which a person 
can at once appreciate, of fixing when the line 
of safety is reached and when it is not reached 
by mere casual inspection ; it seems to me to be 
an absolute impossibility. I am really voicing 
the opinions of other people, the masters and 
officers of the ships. 


191. Is that the chief evidence that you have 
to give ? Yes. 

192. I should rather like w ask you some 
further questions upon it. Would you say, as 
was said by the witness we had this morning, 
that you are not aware of any single case where 
the Board of Trade Inspector has shopped the 
sailing of a ship because she was imperfectly 
ballasted ? I am unaware of any such case. 

19.3. Then you have just given a case where 
the Inspector thought the law did not apply to 
a ship in ballast ! Yes. 

194. You do not agree to that ? Certainly 
not. The law, in my opinion, applies to where a 
ship ip unsafe, whether she is m ballast or in 
cargo; I should think that is a matter of law. 

19.5. Has there been any case where those 
who agree with your view have tried to bring 
before the authorites the fact after the decision 
has been given upon the loss of the ship that 
that ship was allowed to leave a home port or 
another port in a dangerous state. I do not 


Chairmzn continued, 
believe a particular specific case has been brought 
to their knowledge, but there has certainly been 
correspondence with the Board of Trade, 1 think 
through Lord Muskerry. The origin of this 
movement was the putting forward to the Board 
of Trade this very fact, 3iat these ships were 
allowed to go. 

196. You, who represent the Guild, have never 
yourself brought before the Board of Trade that 
fact ; because it looks rather as if it was a natural 
conclusion to draw that as the Board of Trade 
Inquiry has declared that the ship came to grief 
on account of the want of ballast, you ought to 
have enquired why the inspector did not say she 
was unsafe when she left the port. I have 
repeatedly protested at Board of Trade Inquiries 
against putting the captain on trial, and specifi- 
cally pomted out to the Board of Trade that in 
my opinion it was a dereliction of duty on their 
part that caused the loss of the ship. 

197. And you have never known any action 
to be taken ? I have never known any action to 
be taken. 

198. Then what do you say with regard to 
the responsibility upon the captain when the 
ship is at a port abroad where the owners ai-e 
not directly represented; there the responsi- 
bility seems greater almost ? The responsibility 
would be entirely taken off the captain if there 
was a light load line up to which you had to 

199. I mean as things are now ; you do not 
think he acts more vigorously when sailing 
from Hagasaki or any of the places we heard of 
this morning rather than from a home port ? 
I should think that when a captain is sailing 
from a place where he is not under the super- 
vision of his owners, which is very rare in these 
days, he would ballast the ship sufficiently. 

200. You think he would ? I think he would 

Lord Shand: 

201 There is a section in the Act which says 
that a .ship shall not be allowed to sail if she is. 
in an unsafe condition ? That is so. 

202. Would it to any extent meet the evil 
that you complflin of if a provision were made 
in an Act of rarliament adding to such a clause 
as that that inspectors shall pay special regard 
in the case of ships sailing in ballast to the fact 
that they are properly ballsisted and loaded to a 
proper depth with the view of securing the 
avoidance of the accidents that occur at present ? 
It would go a considerable distance in that 
direction. Assuming that it was worked satis- 
factorily it would go a long way. 

203 "^Under the Board of Trade ? Undoubt- 
edly it would go a long way towards remedying 
the evil, provided always that you got efficient 

204. I am assuming that entirely ; it would 
promote the safety of human life ? Un- 

20.5. Then you spoke of the ballasting of 
vessels crossing the Atlautic in ballast. Are 
there many vessels that either cross or recross 
the Atlantic in ballast ? Yes, a great many; I 
think ; most of the ships in ballast condition 
going across (the tramp steamers) go across for 
n cotton 



9 March 1903.] 

Mr. MiLLEW. 


Lord Shand continued. 

cotton and timber; they go across irom ^ere-iu 
ballast and load on the other side. ' i'---* 

206. And that applies to a large number of 
vessels ? A large number. 


207. You cannot give the figures at all ? Not 

Lord Brassey. 

208. The exact provision of the law with 
regard to this is contained, is it not, Section 459 
of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, " Where a 
British ship . . . is an unsafe ship . . . 
by reason of over-loading or improper loadine, 
unfit to proceed to sea . . . such ship may 
be provisionally detained " ? Yes, that is so. 

209. But the provision is express ; it is if in 
any sense of the word the ship is improperly 
loaded the Board of Trade have the power to 
detain ? Yes, but I think Lord Shand will bear 
me out in this, that the decisions have been that 
the Board of Trade Surveyor does it at his own 
risk. ' There was a case (I forget the name) where 
the Board ot Trade Surveyor was mulcted in 
damages in a civil suit because it turned out 
that tiie vessel was not over loaded. 

210. But the Board of Trade have a staff of 
officers specially known as detaining officers 
whose express duty it is to see that all ships on 
leaving the port are. so far as they can judge, 
properly laden ? Yes. The gentleman whose 
evidence I quoted to you was one of them ; that 
is to say he thought his reading of that section 
did not authorise him to detain a ship in ballast 
even if he thought she was imsafe. 

Lord Muskerry. 

211. Arising out of the questions which Lord 
Shand put to you about the ships going to sea 
insufficiently ballasted, do not you think that 
it would be a perfect impossibility for any sur- 
veyor just by glancing at a vessel, unless in the 
case of a steamer where the boss of the propeller 
was awash in an ordinary case to draw the 
line between safety and disaster ?^I should 
think it would be extremelv difficult to do so, 
and it is obviously so much simpler to secure 
the same thing by having a line which is ad- 
mittedly safe, and not putting a burden on 

212. That line would be decided, of course, by 
a committee of experts, and the Board of Trade 
would have no excuse ? Certainly. 

213. You heard what Lord Brassey asked the 
last witness as regards the legal standing in 
these cases of the master and of the owner 

214. I think it was in the case of the 
' Sylviana," was it not, that the master was 
held clear of all blame and that the owners 
were severely condemned as being the people 
who were responsible for the ballasting ? Yes ? 
the finding of the Court was that the master 
having told the owners that the ship was 

Lord Muskerry continued. 

unmanajfoable in that trim there was no blame 
on him, and that it was their fault the ship 
was sent to sea. 

215. Then in other words the owners com- 
mitted a misdemeanour ?- That is the natural 

216. And no steps have ever been taken to 
punish those owners ? None whatever. 

21T. If it had been the other way I believe 
the captain's certificate' would have been sus- 
pended ? Yes. 

218. Which would have amounted to punish- 
ment ? Yes. If I may put another case, the 
" Moel Tryvan," she turned over and drowned, 
I think, 19 people, and the finding of the Court 
at the Board of Trade Inquiry was that they 
could not too strongly condemn the practice of 
sending ships to sea in that condition. But 
nothing more was ever heard of it. They found 
that she was under-ballasted and improperly 
ballasted, and they said they could not too 
strongly condemn tne practice of sending her to 
sea in that condition that was a sailing ship 
but nothing ever took place. 


219. With regard to a light load line I suppose 
you are cognisant of all the proceedings when 
a deep load line was enacted by Parliament ? 

220. Were there the same sort of arguments 
used, I suppose they were, as to the necessity ? 
I could not say that ; I was myself at sea at 
those times, and I really do not know ? 

221. You do not know the difference ? No. 

222. I was merely going to say that a deep 
load line had a very great effect in saving life, 
and in insuring safety you would argue that the 
same thing would apply to a light load line ? 
Yes, that is what I think. 

223. You do not see any essential difference 
between the two ? No. I think the Bill is 
practically based on the same lines, the same 

Lord Shand. 

224. With regard to the case in which damages 
were given, we were told by the last witness that 
damages were given against the Board of Trade, 
was that a mistake ; was it damages against the 
inspector ? I do not know who paid them, but 
the inspector was the defendant, and he was the 
person singled out and sued. 

225. I mean the person found liable ? He 
was found liable and sued. 

226. The inspector was found liable for having 
passed the ship ? Yes. 

227. Did it appear whether his opinion was 
given conscientiously and honestly ? I think 
the name of the plaintiff was Dixon of Liver- 
pool. If 1 thought this would have turned up I 
would have had the case looked up. 

228. I should be glad to have a reference to 
the case ? I will take care you have it ; it is 
reported case. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 



9 March 1 903. 

Captain RICHARD DAVID ROBERTS is called in; and Examined, as follows : 


229. Will you state what you are ? I am a 
retired ship-master, and am "now at Holyhead, 
in business. 

230. In what capacity ? As a marine surveyor. 

231. Under a Department of the Govern- 
ment ? No ; entirely independent. I act for 
anyone who calls me in for surveying. 

232. You act independently for ship com- 
panies ? For ship companies or ship owners,^ 
for anybody who would want a surrey on a 
damage done to a ship in any case. 

233. What have you to state ab:)ut this ques- 
tion which is now before the Committee ? I 
have to state that I have been in Holyhead for 
16 years, and have been connected entirely with 
shipping. I have a list here which I can put in 
of disasters which have occurred owing to the 
unmanageable condition of light steamers which 
also did damage to other vessels owing to their 
not being under full management. There was a 
steamer called the " Alacrity," in December 1897 ; 
she was in ballast and was brought to the Old 
Harbour owing to the vessel sheering about 
during a strong gale and losing 60 fathoms of 
cable. She was a danger to all the vessels that 
were round her on account of her sheering. 

Lord Muakerry. 

234. Due to her being too light, I suppose ? 

Lord Wolverton. 

235. Did any accideut result ? Only to her- 
self in that case. The " Burton " steamer, of 
Hull, dragged her anchors and was towed by a 
tug to a safe anchorage ; that was in December 
1897. The " Pearl," steamer, of Glasgow 


236. But you do not give us much informa- 
tion about the " Burton ' of Hull. What hap- 
pened to her ? She dragged her anchors, 
dragging towards the shore in the Holyhead 
outer roadstead. 

237. In harbour ? Yes. 

Lord Shand. 

238. Was tnere any fatal result ? There was 
no loss of life. 


239. She was unmanageable ? She was quite 
unmanageable. The " Pearl," steamer, of 
Glasgow, owing to a strong gale in ballast, 
crossed a schooner called the " Ready Rhino," 
doing damage to her to the extent of 32i. ; that 
was in 1897. The " Dalbeattie," steamer, in 
ballast, dragged her anchors and came acrcss a 
Norwegian ship, the " Constance," doing the 
latter .some damage; that was in 1898. The 
' Clever," steamer, from Liverpool for Swansea, 
in ballast, damaged the yacht " Nervine " on 
August the 1.5th, 1898. 

240. Are you quite clejir that that was entirely 
owing to want ot ballast ? I am perfectly clear 


CA-zir;nan^ continued. 

that it was owing to their lightness and being 

241. Was there any inquiry about her, and 
was it held that that was so / These cases are 
not brought forward; they are only just brought 
before the surveyor. These are cases that we 
see, and there is no court of inquiry of any kind 
held upon them. 

242. Did you investigate these cases your- 
self ? How do you know that it was want of 
ballast 2 From happening to be called in to 
survey the damage that these steamers had 

243. You were called in yourself ? Yes. 

244. And the result of your examination was 
that they had insufficient ballast, and were un- 
manageable ? Yes. The " Dorotea," steamer, 
of Trieste, from London for Manchester, was 
totally unmanageable. 

Lord Shand. 

245. Have you got the year in which these 

cases occurred ? Yes. 

246. It would be convenient if the years w(}re. 
given as you mention them ? I have them at 
the bottom of each case. 


247. You had better state the years ? The 
" Dorotea," steamer, from London to Manchester, 
became totally unmanageable, damaging the 
" Newhaven " steamer to the extent of 200 on 
October 2nd, 1899. The " Emily " steamer of 
Liverpool, on the 9th November, 1899, bound 
from Liverpool for Neath, put back into Holy- 
head, leaking, and this leak was caused un- 
doubtedly by the vessel being too light and drop- 

f)ing against the sea on the fore part and thus 
oosening some of the rivets in bottom plates. The 
vessel eventually after temporary rejiairs had to 
return to Liverpool to complete repairs The 
'Daventry"steamer,inballast,draggp<l tier anchors 
in Holyhead Roadstead and fouled the schooners 
" Emily Mellington " and " Rear Plant," on, 
December 3rd, 1899, and the damage done by 
that steamer was over 800. In the case of the 
" Algores " steamer, from Dublin for Barry, 
owing to her being unmanageable oil' the South 
Stack, the master was compelled to drop his 
anchor in the Channel and lost with it 
75 fathoms of cable to bring the ship head to 
wind to cant her towards Holyhead Harbour. 
I have a number of other instances wTiich I can , 
put in ; I do not know that I need go through 
them all. 

248. You might just mention some peculiar,, 
ones if you have a very long list ; it is no use 
going through every one ? If you please. 

Lord Shand. 

249. It cannot be a very long list because you 
have come down to recent date ? The "Trafford," 
steamer, of Manchester, dragged her anchors 
damaging the " Agnes Craig " schooner on April 
30th, 1900 The " Doleraiue." steamer, of 
c 2 Glasgow 



9 Maivh 1903.] 

( "apUin K. D. lioBEUTs. 


Lord Sluind continued. 
Glasgow on Deecniber 20th, 1900, did some 
damage to two schooners. The " Dolcraino " 
again (h-aggod her anchors at another time and 
the steam" lifeboat had to go to assist her to 
come to a proper anchor. The " Doleraine " 
again put in leaky with a airgo in her, evidently 
having been the voyage before in ballast and 
loosened rivets right in the bottom plates. 
Those are the really serious cases excepting this 
year. A large steamer called the " Woodleigh " 
on the 26th January, owing to being quite un 
managejible in Holyhead outer roadstead fouled 
or crossed a steamer when she was trying to 
come to anchor, the " Foxton Hall," doing her 
such damage that she was obliged to go back to 
Liverpool for repairs and be dry-docked, and 
herself being temporarily repaired when she 
proceeded to Barry for repairs. The " Solans " 
arrived in January ofthis year, came alongside of 
the hulk, mooring ropes were carried away, and she 
was quite unmanageable ; she fouled one of the 
buoys, and had to be assisted out to the road- 
stead. The "Volney," steamer, this last week 
anchored in the roadstead in a gale of wind ; she 
.sheered about and came against the dredger and 
was obliged to slip her anchors and come into 
the harbour; the agreement for her was .50Z. 
besides the loss of her anchors and cable. Then 1 
have here a list of vessels which, through being 
too light ballasted or insufficiently ballasted, 
dragged and came on shore, the " Meath," 
steamer, in March, 1892. 

250. Does the same observation apply to this 
case that you made as to all those you have been 
mentioning. Do you know this from your 
own personal observation ? ^From my own 
personal observation. 

251. From your own surveys and your own 
personal observation of the vessel ? Yes. In 
March, 1892, the " Meath " dragged her anchor, 
and was actually blowti on shore. The " Ella 
Sayers" in 1894 was in a gale of wind, she was 
blown ashore; she was unable to assist herself 
by using her engines, and she dragged right in 
shore into the Old Harbour. The "Albion" 
steamer, of Sunderland, on November 10th, 
1899, was blown ashore on Aberffraw Head. 
The " Leonora " steamer, of Rotterdam, during 
the month of January was blown right on to 
Tmeth Gribin into a very dangerous positioh, 
quite close in shore, and in verj-^ shallow water, 
where she struck the sand ; but, eventually, the 
wind moderating, with the assistance of the 
steam libeboat she managed to steam, by coming 
on full speed astern, into the harbour ; she had 
all her machinery deranged, and did some 
damage to her bottoiji plates. On the 27th of 
January of this year the " Bothilde Russ " 
steamer, of Hamburg, was blown right on shore 
on the rocky point of Aberffraw and became a 
total wreck. I may also mention the " Ameer " 
steamer, one of the liners of Liverpool, although 
she was sufficiently ballasted. 1 do not want to 
put her in the same list as these as being too light, 
but still when she was light she was blown right on 
the Platters rocks. And there is another steamer, 
the " Olzarri," a Spanish steamer, which was last 
month in Holyhead Harbour, and being perfectly 
unmanageable owing to her lightness she 

Lord Shand continued. 

damaged the schooner " Ezel " to the extent of 


252. Were you perfectly satisfied from your 
knowledge and experience as a seaman that these 
accidents to which you refer in all these various 
ships were caused by insufficient ballast ? I am 
perfectly satisfied ; it never happens with any 
loaded steamers. 

253. Have you ever known of a case of such 
a thing occurring where the Board ot Trade 
inspectors have stopped a ship sailing on account 
of ner being unsafe through msufficient ballast ? 
I have never known of any such case. 

Lord Muskerfy. 

254. All these ships^ as you have just said, 
came to grief through want of sufficient ballast, 
and this was in harbour in comparatively smooth 
water, was it not, in Holyhead Harbour ? Yes, 
in every case. 

255. And therefore I suppose you would hold 
that if those vessels had been at sea they would 
have been in a position of very great danger on 
a lee shore ? I do hold that. 

256. And probably great loss of life would 
have occurred ? Yes. 

257. Is it your opinion that it is a most unsafe 
thing to send these vessels to sea insufficiently 
ballasted ? Yes ; I believe that every vessel 
should be sufficiently ballasted to go to sea, 
especially from the home ports, as has been said 
by another witness, from port to port. 

258. And you know from your experience that 
it is a very common practice to send them to sea 
without enough ballast ? That is my opinion. 

Lord Brassey. 

259. The losses of life where they occur in the 
case of vessels not sufficiently ballasted chiefly 
arise from strandings, do they not ; the vessel 
becomes unmanageable and gets ashore ? Yes. 

260. Cases of vessels capsizing at sea for want 
of sufficient ballast are not numerous on your 
list, are they? I liave chiefly put tliose that 
happened within my district in Holyhead. 

261. And those have been strandings ? Yes. 

262. And the loss of life from those strandings 
has not been considerable ? We have had no 
loss of life in any of these cases that I have 

Lord Inverclyde. 

263. You have given a number of cases of 
vessels dragging their anchors but you do not 
say, do you, that it is only vessels in light ballast 
that drag their anchors ? Pretty nearly all of 
them are. 

264. There are plenty of vessels even fully 
laden in ballast that drag their anchors ? Yes, 
small craft. 

265. And even vessels of such sizes as you 
have given in your list ? T have not seen many 
such cases of deep-loaded steamers ; it is very 
few that put in for shelter. 

266. When you were holding these 
surveys on whose behalf were you holding 
them ? Generally on the owner's behalf, 
When a steamer does damage, if the 




9 March 1903.] 

Captain R. 1). Roherts. 


Lord Inveivlyde continued, 
owner of the steamer wants nie to go into 
the case in his interest, I act on his behalt ; or if 
the owner of the other ship that has received 
the damage asks me, I act on his behalf. I take 
either side as I am called in. 

267. Do (Tou consider that in those cases on 
which you have held surveys the vessels ought 
to have been detained before they left their port 
as being insufficiently ballasteci ? F consider 
that most of those cases which I have enu- 
merated now were insufficiently ballasted on 
account of their being entirely unmanageable 
with the force of the wind, so that they had to 
eome to an anchorage. 

268. And that they should have been JetaineJ 
before they started ? I would not liko to say 
anything about detaining them. 

Lord Shand. 

269. You have spoken about your acting for 
a person who thought he was injured, and who 
made a claim for damages. When those 
damages that you have mentioned ware given, 
were they given by the ship that was complained 
against were they paid ? They were always 

270. Was there another surveyor employed on 
the other side, generally ? Generally. 

Lord Shand continued. 

271. And then the parties arranged what the 
payment was to be in the end ? Yes. 

272. Sometimes the other surveyor concurring 

with you, and sometimes differing, I suppose ? 

Quite so. 

273. I did not quite under.-itand what you 
meant when you said that all these cases 
happened in Holyhead Harbour. Had none ot 
the vessels sailed from Holyhead and gone a 
certain part of their voyage whou the accident 
happened /They generally pyt into Holyhead 
for shelter ; they come in there and make use of 
the roadstead for shelter in bad weather. 

274. Does the whole of your evidenfjo apply 
only to what occurred in Holjdiead Harbour 
itself, or does any of it apply to any part of the 
voyage from the . harbour ? It all applies in 
Holyhead Harbour itself 

Lord Wolverton. 

'21 o. I just want to clear up a question that 
Lord Sp3ncer asked you. I think you said that 
you had njvor known a ship detained by the 
Board of Trade owing to her being improperly 
ballasted ? Not to my knowledge. 


276. Is there anything else you wish to say ? 
Nothing more. 

The Witness is directed to withdraw 

Captain ALEXANDER WOOD is called in ; and Examined, as follows : 


277. You are a nautical assessor, I think ? 

278-9. And you were appointed by the Home 
Office ? -Appointed by the Home Oifice. 

280. Will you say what your experience has 
been? I am 53 years of age I have been 23 
years at sea, in both wood aud iron, steam and 
sailing vessels, and I was for about 12 years 
master. I left the .sea in the beginning of 1889 
to teach navigation and nautical astronomy in 
the Dundee Navigation School. I hold an 
Honours certificate in Navigation from the 
Science and Art Department, an Honours certi- 
ficate in Nautical Astronomy from the Science 
and Art Department and advanced certificate 
in several other subjects. I have been Nautical 
Assessor for Board of Trade Inquiries since 
January, 1893, and I am also Nautical Assessor 
for the Court of Session, Scotland, the Sheriffs 
Court, Glasgow, and other Sheriffs' Courts in 

281. What are your duties as Nautical 
Assessor;' To attend Board of Trade Inquiries. 
We are appointed from the Home Office. 
Board of Trade Inquiries arc held in 
England under a stipendiary magistrate, or 
under two lay magistrates. In Scotland they 
are held by the Sheriff, and no one else, in the 
Sheriff Court. 

Lord Shand. 

282. Is the appointment also from the Home 
OflBce, although it is in Scotland ? Yes. 


In the interests of the seafaring cominuiiity 
I consider a lifjfht load line is urgently required. 
Formerly when ships were under private owner- 
ship the master was frequently the largest owner 
in the vessel, had a large influence in the manage- 
ment, and was almost allowed a free hand in all 
matters relating to the navigation. At that 
time the struggle for existence, through com- 
petition, was not so intense, and in ballasting 
his ship a master could always act on the side 
of safety. In approaching the limit of safety he 
knew that whatever danger he incurred for his 
crew he himself would share, and this to a 
certain extent was a guarantee to the public 
that no unnecessary risk would be run in 
ballasting the vessel for sea. All this, how- 
ever, is cnanged under the modern development 
of shipping into joint stock companies. The 
master has simply become an inferior kind of 
servant to do as he is bidden, and ask no 
questions. With regard to the ballasting, 
where the master has not special experience of 
the ship and voyage, there is even a reason why 
the matter should be controlled from the 
shipowner's office, as a manager of many 
vessels, from the knowledge he acquires in the 
management of them, may be better able to de- 
termine, than the master, the smallest amount 
of ballast that is absolutely necessary for the 
safety of the vessel ; but under the stress 
of competition, and with the surety of the 
vessel being well insured tliere is a great 
tendency on the part of the manager to pass the 




9 March li>03.] 

Captaiu A. Wood. 


C/iuinnan. continued, 
limit of safety so that vessels are freciuently lost 
owing to being under-ballasted. Unless when 
being towed the temptation to under-ballast is 
not so great in sailing vessels as in steam vessels. 
Yet under-ballasting in sailing ships is a great 
source of danger. The modern sjiiling ship, 
constructed to stand without ballast in harbour, 
when ballasted and at sea, though she will stand 
up well to her canvas, has such a small hold of 
tne water, that when the wind is forward, she 
drifts to 1 .oward over the water like a bladder, 
*nd is ruiidered a very dangerous vessel on a lee 
shore. In oppo.sition to this class of sailing 
vessel, those built formerly about 30 or 40 years 
ago, were sharp built with high floors, and 
though they required a considerable amount of 
ballast with which to stand in harbour, when 
ballasted at sea they were safe ships, and under 
ordinary circumstances would '" hold their 
own" off a lee shore. I have had e.^perience of 
both these kinds of vessels in the Cape Horn 
trade. From my observations at Board of Trade 
Inquiries I consider the evil of under-ballasting 
in steamers is a very pressing one. The tempta- 
tion to under-ballast is greater in a steamer than 
in a sailing vessel. A steamer does not depend 
on the wind for her passage, and if the weather 
is tine may make a very smart passage while 
unsafely ballasted. After a few of such experi- 
ences the managing owner is very apt to dis- 
count any representations from the master as 
to the insufficiency of ballast and the danger 
thereby incurred. Under those conditions all 
goes well until the vessel encounters unusually 
severe weather, when she is lost. Such cases are 
frequently a matter of investigation at Board of 
Trade Inquiries. On the 11th of last month I 
had the nonour to attend a Board of Trade 
Inquiry at Glasgow, into the stranding of the 
" Buckingham," and loss of life entailed thereby. 
That casualty was clearly proved to be due to 
the vessel becoming unmanageable through 
insufficiency of ballast. Yet, notwithstanding 
that fact, the managing owner stated in evidence 
that he considered she had sufficient ballast on 
board ; that he took all responsibility for the 
ballasting, and that he would send her again on 
a similar voyage with the same amount of bal- 
last. There was overwhelming evidence pro- 
duced to prove that she was ballasted just as 
other vessels are at the present time, and this 
vessel became unmanageable when she was 
under a weather shore was close to the islands 
of the Hebrides ; she drifted, and the wind came 
away so strong that they lost command of her, 
and she went right ashore on the opposite coast. 
The "Sylviana" investigation, at which I had 
the honour to attend at Middlesbrough last 
year, was another bad case of under-ballasting. 


283. Were you an assessor in these cases ? 
Yes, I was an assessor. 

284. Both in the case of the ' Buckingham " 
and the " Sylviana "i Yes. On leaving 
Antwerp the boss of the " Sylviana's " propeller 
was just under water, while a little over six 
feet of the upper blade of the propeller 
was out of the water. The vessel got down 
on the Yorkshire coast during an East North 

Cha irman continued. 

East gale. 
West, and 
the vessel was 
could do nothing 

her head fell otl' to the North 

she became unmanageable. As 

fast driftinsr ashore and they 



lor, as 


the master ordered the manhole doors of th 
water ballast tanks in the after-hold to be taken 
oft' in order to let the after-hold till with water. 
While this was being done, owing to the 
excessive racing of the engines, all four blades 
of the propeller were carried away and the 
vessel went ashore ; the extreme racing of the 
engines, due to the propeller being so much out 
of the water, having caused the blades to be 
carried away. These two cases are similar to 
others that Board of irade Inquiries have 
froquentlv to deal with. In the open sea these 
under ballasted ships are also a great danger, 
not only to themselves, but to all others in their 
vicinity. In bad weather they become un- 
manageable, and are unable to comply with the 
rules for preventing collision at sea. It is very 

Erobable that many ships are lost and never 
eard of through this cause. Very often when 
ships are in water ballast the foremost tank is 
kept empty, as the filling of it has the effect of 
raising the propeller, so that the full water 
ballast is not always available. ^Miatever rules, 
are made with regard to the ballasting of British 
ships I think should also be made applicable to 
all foreign vessels entering or leaving British 
ports. This would obviate to a large extent any 
little disadvantage that might arise should a 
slight mistake be made on the side of safety. 

285. Now with regard to what you said about 
owners, you say that in old days the masters 
often had a share in the ship, and therefore had 
a much greater interest in requiring sufficient 
ballast ; f think you said that ? Yes. 

286. But there is a heavy responsibility, I sup- 
pose, still even on a company to see that their 
ships do not run any risk ? Well the matter is 
more managed by the company from the office. 
Since the Joint Stock Company management 
has come in the master, to a very large extent, 
has been superseded in a great many of his 

287. But do they not consult the master as to 
the ship and so on ? They mH get the master's, 

288. You have mentioned the case of the 
"Buckingham" where the managing owner 
stated that he considered the ship had sufficient 
ballast and that he would send her to sea 
again in the same ballast ? Yes. 

289. Was any action taken in regard t)* 
that ? No, there was no action taken. ' 

290. He could have been pro.secuted, T suppose, 
if the inquiry stated that the ship went aground 
on account of insumcieiit ballasting? The 
finding of the court was that the vessel was 
insufficiently ballasted and that the casualty was 
due to insufficient ballasting. 

291. And no action was taken by anybody to 
bring the owner, who admitted he was respon- 
sible, to justice for it ? There has been no action 
taken, and I do not suppose there will be, it is 
not usual. 

292. I daresay you have heard the witnesses 
who gave evidence before, who stated they had 
never known a case where a Board of Trade 
Insuector had stopped a slu'p from sailing 




9 March 1903.] 

Captain A. Woou. 


Chairman pontinued. 

because of her not being sufficiently ballasted. 
Can you bear that out. ? Yes, I never knew of 
a case in which a Board of Trade officer had 
stopped a vessel. ->['. 

293. It is only right to ask you whether, in 
your opinion, they have power to do that under 
the Act ? It would be a difficult matter, as has 
been already stated, for one man to take upon 
himself to stop a vessel. There would be such 
a large amount of evidence produced by wit- 
nesses, the same as there was in this Board of 
Trade inquiry, where there was a vast amount 
of evidence produced to prove that the vessel 
was ballasted quite in practice with the custom 
of to-day. and therefore that there was no 
special blame upon this owner if he complied 
with what was the custom of the trade around 

294. There was a difference of opinion among 
the witnesses as to whether the want of ballast 
Was the cause of the misfortune, was there ? 
No, that question was never a matter of 
evidence. The question was as to the custom 
of ballasting this ship. This ship was proved 
to have been ballasted, according to these 
witnesses, in the very same way as all other 
vessels of her class are ballasted to-day ; and the 
court held, and the evidence proved, that the 
vessel had gone ashore through insufficiency of 

295. Then the Court really gave its opinion 
that all these vessels which had been balliisted 
in the same way were unsafe ? ^That was so ; 
that was the inference. 

296. Do you believe that there is a respgnsi- 
bility on the Board of Trade Inspectors to deal 
with this question ot iiLsufficient ballast ? 
Under the condition of things at the present 
time I do not see that much responsibility lies 
upon those men, because those men cannot very 
well determine the point. 

297. Are thev not sufficiently skilled in their 
profession ? If they were to stop a vessel the 
owners would take the case to court, and they 
would get a vast amount of evidence to confute 
the Board of Trade man's position. Then that 
vessel had never gone to sea, and the case had 
never been proved; and also she might go to 
sea, and might go often to sea, in that condition, 
and if the weather was passably fair she might 
make a very smart voyage. This is done 
repeatedly. But then, when the vessel is caught 
with anything like an unusual gale there is 
nothing else for it but to go ashore, oecause they 
become perfectly unmanageable. 

29H. In your opinion they ought to consider 
when deciding what the amount of ballast is 
what would happen in a bad gale, not what would 
happen in tair weather ? Yes I think a vessel 
before she goes outside should be in a condition 
to meet a gale of wind. 

299. Then your opinion is that you consider 
the Board of Trade Inspector has not sufficient 
power, or is put in such a position that he can- 
not judge of the question whether it is safe for 
the ship to go to sea, whether there is ballast 
enough, and you think the only remedy for it is 
to have some light load line ? Yes, it is a very 
difficult subject, and it is rather too much to 
expect of one man. It is a very difficult subject 

Chairman continued, 
dealing with such load line, to do it fairly and 
well. I think those Board of Trade Inspector* 
should have some strong rules to go by to enaWe 
them to carry out their dutj', aud to take tha 
responsibility of making a mistake off their 
shoulders altogether. 

300: Then would you decide by a Committee 
ot experts on each ship, or how would you decide 
what the light load line would be on each ship ? 
I would go very largely by statistics; I think 
the Board of Tratle may have these statistics 
collected, and if they have not, they should 
collect statistics of the behaviour of those vessels 
in making their passages. I think that they 
should not only collect that evidence from the 
Master, who to a certain extent has the owner's 
eye upon him, and whose duty, you might 
almost say, is not to discredit his own ship, 
but also evidence of the men who steer the ship, 
the men who are at the wheel, and accumulate 
this evidence so as to enable the load line to be 
tixedin the most judicious position possible. 

301. Then according to what you are now 
saying as I understand you, you would hiive a 
Board of Trade Inquiry on each ship ? No. 

302. That is what I want to get clear ? Not 
an inquhy, simply to collect the evidence. 

303. As to ships of that tonuage or form, or 
how, as to that particular ship? Ships in 
ballast in common, in general. From my pupils 
at the Navigation School, which I have in 
Dundee, I know that these ballast ships, as has 
been already said, when they go outside in a 
great many cases when it comes on to blow, have 
as ati only resource to hoist red lights and thus 
indicate to every vessel near them that they are 
uncontrollable and therefore choy must keep out 
of their way. 

304. And you believe that there are a good 
many ships in that state at sea ? Yes, I believe 

Lord Shand. 

30.5. What you are pointing to apparently is 
that you shall have regulations passed which 
shall make ships safe when they are going in 
ballast ? Yes. 

306. Could that be done so as to be applicable 
to all ships ? How could you devise rules that 
would lie applicable to different classes of vessels 
so as to make it safe for all classes of vessels. 
Could the Board of Trade possibly do it ? 
There is a difficulty to get down to the dividing 
line between danger and safety, but all the 
same I believe that it is a thing that is urgently 
required, because the evil is becoming 

307. I quite follow that. I quite follow that 
you think it is a very desirable thing and in 
yovir opinion perhaps essential ; but how is the 
Board of Trade, according to your showiug, to 
make regulations that should be applicable to 
vessels of totally different tonnage and size and 
dimensions altogether ? By acting upon the 
data and statistics that they have already 
acquired. I presume that they .are in pos.^ession 
of a very large amount of information bearing 
upon the behaviour of vessels in ballast. 

308. But if you have totally different classes 
of vessels to deal with, is one set of regulations 
to be made to apply to all or are there to bo 




9 March 1903.] 

Captain A. Wood. 

[t'mttinued . 

Lord Shand continued. 

separate sets of regulations applicable to vessels 
of different tonnage and different size ? The 
special class and construction of each vessel would 
have to be considered. 

309. So that any regulations that the Board 
of Trade had to issue would have to be issued in 
some such way as " Vessels of this class," men- 
tioning the dimensions and everything, " such 
and such a freeboard ; " and for vessels of another 
class, such as another freeboard, and so on ? 

310. Would not that be an extremely difficult 
thing to do ? There is a |[large amount of diffi- 
culty in it I see. And also tne season of the 
year would have to be considered too? 

311. Do you see a possibility of making regu- 
lations that would fit so many different classes 
of vessels ? Yes ; I think it could be done, be- 
cause the safety should be ensured a certain 
margin of safety, I mean. And with regard to 
steamers that take water ballast I do not see 
any great difficulty in constructing a steamer to 
take sufficient of it. 

312. In short, then, you think it would be 
possible to make regulations to suit different 
classes of vessels ? Yes. 

313. You say that the master was in a dif- 
ferent position when he was a part owner in 
old days ? Yes, very different. 

314. And you attach great importance to 
that ? I attach a large amount of importance 
to that. 

315. I suppose that was generally a power 
that was exercisable and exercised in those days ? 

316. In those days he had the power and 
influence to do it ? Yes. 

317. Is that entirely gone under the new 
system ? That is entirely gone under the new 
system. I was in a private company, and I am 
speaking from experience, for I know the 
radical change that came over that company 
when once it got shifted from being a private 
ship-owning company to a joint stock company. 

318. Then do you think that in any change 
that is made the master should have a voice in 
the question of the loading of the vessel where 
it is under ballast, independently of the owner 
of the vessel ? Yes, I do. 

319. You think of the two persons, with a 
view to the safety of life, it would be of greater 
consequence that the master should have a voice 
in the arrangements made fpr the ballasting, 
and in the amount of ballast, <ind so on, than 
that the owner should have ? My difficulty 
with this is that the master's voice will simply 
be the owner's voice under present arrangements. 

320. I underatand. that ? Because the owners 
behind the scenes will be able to bring influence 
in this way, that the man knows that he must 
please the owners or he is not going to be 

321. He will lose his situation you mean ? 

322. Therefore you think it would be better 
in some way or other that the owner should 
have a voice in the ballasting ? I think the 
owners should have the entire responsibility 
placed upon their shoulders. 

323 But that the master should have a voice ? 

Chairman continued. 

Yes, but I think it would be far better if the 
science of the country could be brought to bear 
upon the subject and fix a proper scientific load 
line to be laid down for different classes of vessels, 

324. You have also told us that you have 
not known of a ship being stopped by an 
Inspector of the Board of Trade. Is not the' 
subject of your complaint now that many 
vessels should have been stopped which have 
never been stopped ? Yes. 

325. The point of your evidence upon that 
matter is that you regret the circumstance that 
the inspector did not stop the ship, and vou 
say that a good many ships should have been 
stopped that have not ? -Yes, if the Board of 
Trade had that power. 

326. Or if they would exercise it through 
their inspectors and make them much more 
strict in the matter of stopping ships occasion 
ally, and that you think would be an improve- 
ment upon the present system ? Ye.-s, if at 
definite set of rules were drawn up for those 
inspectors to act upon, because if they act upon 
their individual responsibility they take a verv 
large amount of responsibility then upon theiV 

327. Before they venture to stop a ship? 
Yes, and they are afraid of exercising it. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

327. How many years did you say you have 
eben a nautical assessor ? Ten years. 

329. And how many cases have you sat on ins 
that time ? I could not tell you ; a great many 
over. 100 cases. 

330. And are these the only two you have 
come across in your experience as being under 
ballasted ? -No, these are not the only ones, on 
is last year and the other is this year two that 
have occurred quite lately. 

331. Had you a number of cases in that 
hundred that were under ballasted ? Yes, I had. 
There is one I remember, the "Ariel," a very 
bad case. In going down the English Channel' 
in ballast she became perfectly unmanageable,, 
and in going past Dover they had the red lights 
hoisted, warning other vessels to keep out of her 
way. She got down as far as Plymouth, and 
could not go round Lands End ; she had to put 
into Plymouth, and in putting into Plymouth 
she was unmanageable in Plymouth harbour and 
could not bring her head to wind, so that when 
they let go the anchor she dragged, and the final 
result was she went ashore and was wrecked 
there. I am not sure whether she was got off 
eventually, but she went ashore and was badly 
knocked about. 

332. What was the finding in that case ? 
That she was under-ballasted. 

333. Was that the judgment of the court ? 
That was the judgment of the court. 

334. I think you said, in reply to Lord 
Shand, that you thought the evil was greatly 
accentuated now compared with what it used to 
be ? Yes. 

335 Can you ^ve us any figures to show that ? 
I had about six or seven cases last year; out 
out of those one was an under-ballasted ship. 
This year I have had four, and one of these is. 
an under-ballasted ship. 

336. Can 



9 March 1903.] 

Captain A. Wood. 


Lord Inverclyde continued. 

336. Can you show us the percentage of cases 
in the mercantile marine ? No, I could not do 

337. Then one other question. You said, in 
reply to Lord Shand, that you thought the 
master ought to have a voice in the ballasting 
of a ship ? Yes, I think so. 

338. Who will have the responsibility then, if 
the master has a voice in the ballasting of the 
ship ? If the owner had the responsibility on 
his own shoulders, and the risk on his own 
shoulders, the master would have a large amount 
of .say in the ballasting of his ship, and his 
advice would go a long way in deciding what the 
ballasting of the ship would be. But as it 
stands at present, the owners are in this posi- 
tion. They are working against each other to 
run their vessels as cheaply as they can, and 
they have no risk at all. They do not wish to 
drown anybody, or to lose their ships, certainly, 
but they are working against each other, and 
there is not the restriction upon them that 
there would be if they were responsible for 
the ballasting and also if they had the risk of 
the loss of the vessel on their own shoulders. 

339. When you say that the master ought to 
have a voice in ballasting, do you say that 
no\v-a-days they have none at all ? They will 
send in their reports, and the owners will take 
the master's evidence; but with regard to deciding 
as to what the ballasting is to be the owners do 
not generally consult the master. 

340. But in foreign ports does it not rest with 
the master as to what ballast is put into the 
ships < The owner's rule or regulation or 
arrangement, whatever it may be, for ballasting 
the ship holds equally powermlly in the foreign 
port as it does at home, because the master has 
to please his owners and carry out their views. 

341. But as a matter of fact, in foreign ports 
it rests with the masters as to what ballast they 
put in the ships ? Yes ; but if it is water 
ballast, say, the master will be told, or given to 
understand, that the ship is to be shifted in 
water ballast. All this holds good wherever 
the master is ; if once the owner gives him to 
understand that the ship is to be ballasted with 
water ballast alone then the master will do it. 

Lord Brasaey. 

342. You spoke of the excessive responsibility 
which you think is upon the Board of 
Trade Detaining Officers in relation to the 
detention of ships ; I think you said that upon 
their sole authority they would shrink from 
taking action under the provisions of the ex- 
isting law ? Yes, that is the position. 

343. Is not the course of proceeding this : 
that when a ship is provisionally detained that 
proceeding is followed up by a survey, is it not ? 
I cannot say that I am very fa.'i'iliar with the 
course of procedure, but that is probably the 

344. That is the action which the Board of 
Trade takes upon receiving a report from the 
detaining officer that the ship is not fit to go to 
sea. The Board then orders a survey to be 
made, does it not, or it refers the matter to a 
Court of Survey is not that the ease ? I do 


Lord Brassey continued. 

not know. I have not any special knowledge of 
that matter. 

345. That is, the course of action that is pre- 
scribed by the law, and that action implies and 
involves the relief of the responsibility of the 
detaining officer ; the final action depends not 
upon his sole authority but upon the report of a 
Court of Survey or of some indepencfent and 
competent person appointed by the Board of 
Trade to examine the ship ? Yes ; the case, 
however, is that ships are not detained where 
they are unmanageable. 

346. But if action were taken the proceed- 
ings would be such as I have indicated to you, 
would it not ? Yes, I think so. 

347. You said that it is very difficult to fix a 
light load-line ? Yes, there is a difficulty in the 
matter ; but still I do not think it is beyond 

348. It is difficult ? It is difficult. 

349. And more difficult than to fix a deep 
load-line ? If a sufficient margin was left for 
safety the thing might be easily done, and I am 
under the impression that financially the nation 
experiences a loss through the way the vessels 
are ballasted. 

350. But to fix the rules for the determining 
of the light load-line is more difficult than to lay 
down rmes for fixing a deep load-line ? It is 
much the same I think. I do not think there 
is much more difficulty in the one case than 
in the other. It was considered a very difficult 
case to fix a deep load-line when it came up. 

351. But that has been done by the Board of 
Trade with the advice of the committee of 
Lloyds's Register, has it not ? Yes. 

352. And have you reason to believe that 
those authorities would be prepared to advise the 
Board of Trade with regard to a light load-line 
as they have advised with reference to a deep 
load-line ? - Yes, I think so. 

353. You have no information on that sub- 
ject ? No, I have no special information on that 
subject. And the load-line, if fixed, might be 
subject to amendment afterwards. I think one 
of the most important matters is the collecting 
of statistics of what these vessels are doing at 
sea when a vessel is sent away in an unmanage- 
able condition ; the percentage of that class of 
vessel which became unmanageable in ballast 
would be very material to the collecting of 
knowledge for fixing this load-line, because I 
think that the most important matter required 
is to get the practical information of how a 
vessel behaves herself at sea which should 
determine where a load-line should be. 

354. There is anotJier consideration which we 
must have in view, is there not ; that if we 
attempt officially to fix a load-line we to that 
extent relieve the shipowner of his responsi- 
bility ? There is a danger there. 

355. That has to be considered, has it not ? 
But the first step must be for the Board of Trade 
to lay down rules and without guaranteeing any 
positive safety to put the minimum so that their 
own officials might act and stop that vessel and 
have it so that there would be no question, it 
would not be arguable, that the vessel was sea- 

i) 356. I should 



9 March 1903.] 

Captain A. Wood. 


Lord Braaaey continued. 

356. I should just like to ask you a question 
upon one remark you made in reference to the 
position of the master at tbe present day. You 
say they have lost the authority that they once had 
in dealmg with the management of ships ? Yes. 

357. You would not contend, would you, that 
the safety of life at sea is lessassined to-day than 
it was 30 years ago ? No, I think that Hfe nt sea 
is as safe now as it was then. 

358. Would you not say life at sea is better 
secured to-day than it was 30 years ago when Mr. 
Plimsoll addressed the great remonstrance to 
Parliament ? Yes ; but that has been to a large 
extent brought about through putting on a deep 
load line. And the same evils that led up to 
that deep load line being fixed are now accruing 
to a point when a light load line will have to be 
fixed, although it is a difficult matter. 

359. But m so far as you rely upon the 
independent advice of ship masters in dealing 
with the safety of their ships, in former years 
that proved to be a very broken reed, did it not ? 
Mr. Plimsoll had a stronger case to make against 
the ship in his days than can be made now ? 
Yes ; but that was not due to the master being a 
factor and power ; it was due to the condition of 
ships at that time; the ships the masters had 
were not of the same class that they are now. 
Shipbuilding has greatly improved since then. 

Lord MiLskerry. 

360. Talking about the. difficulty of appor. 

Lord Mvskerry continued. 

tioning a light load line, would not the same 
machinery as was employed for dealing with a 
deep load line be available for dealing with a 
light load line ? Yes. 

361. So that there is not much difficulty 
there. You seem to think there would be 
greater difficulty about apportioning a light 
loadline than a deep load line ? The same 
machinery should be able to apportion it. 

362. Therefore it only wants the Government 
to make an Act that you shall have an indica- 
tion to have the thing go on ? Yes, I think so. 

Lord Shand. 

363. You said in answer to a question put to 
you that certain authorities had to be called in 
when a ship was detained by the inspector ; but 
I suppose if the ship is detained by the inspector 
he would complain to the captain that there 
was an underloading, and in the great bulk of 
cases it will come to a matter of arrangement 
instead of goi'ig into any judicial inquiry. The 
captain would say, " Very well, if this will satisfy 
you I will do it, or if that will satisfy you I will 
do it " ? ^Unless the owner behind wishes to 
stand out. 


364. Is there anything more you wish to say ? 
No, nothing more, thank you. 

The Witness is directed to withdraw. 

Captain SINCLAIR LOUTIT is called in and examined, as follows : 


365. Would you state in what capacity you 
come forward as a witness ? I am a Nautical 
Assessor to the Home Office and have been for a 
few years. 

366. How long have you been so ? Four 
years. Previously I had been for about 30 
years in the employment of the British India 
Steam Navigation Company. 

367. As a captain ? I was 25 years master. 

368. In India ? In India and Home waters. 

369. What is it that you wish to bring before 
the Committee ? I have nothing very im- 
portant to say. I thoroughly endorse what has 
iMJen told you witn regard lo the im- 

Eortance of having a light load line; it 
as been, of course, a matter that has 
engrossed my attention more in years past pre- 
viously to being an assessor. I have commanded 
vessels of very various types, of course, from 300 
tons to 10,000 tons, and during all those years 
great developments have taken place in naval 

370. Did a great many of the ships of the 
British India Steam Navigation Company sail 
in ballast ? A large number yes. Of course 
there have been great alterations. Only the 
last 20 years the cellular-bottomed system has 
come into -v ogue the water ballast. That is a 

Chairman continued. 

freat aid, but in the British India Company, as 
presume in other large lines, there is no 
question of scamping ballast. Although a large 
portion of those vessels not all are supplied 
with water ballast, the master has a perfectly 
free band of course (as I have often' done my- 
self) to put in more ballast, besides filling his water 
tanks up. Say you are going round from Singa- 
pore to Calcutta, or from Australia even to 
Calcutta, you fill your water ballast tanks, and 
also take in a certain proportion of ballast as 
well to ensure safety. 

371. And is it in your opinion that with your 
company the master did take the responsibility 
of settling what the amount of ballast should be. 
He did not always refer to the manager of the 
company? Oh,dearno. Iftherewasany question, 
if any understrapper of any description said, " Oh, 
well, we cannot supply you with more ballast," he 
would simply say " Well, I want that ballast, 
and I shall have it, and I shall refer the 
matter to higher authority if I do not get it." 
So he always got it. It happened to me several 
times; I have had an outdoor superintendent 
say : " You do not want more ballast ; you have 
enough." I have said, " No." Then the question 
comes in, of course, of the type of vessel. I am 
speaking of steamers now only. Some want a 




9 March 1903.] 

Captain Sinclair Loutit. 


Chairman continued. 

greater proportion of ballast in proportion to 
their tonnage and some less. 

372. And in your experience there was no 
difficulty between you and the company ? Not 
the slightest; in fact 1 am surprised to hear 
that any owners, even tramp owners, would 
deliberately tell their masters they could not 
have ballast. I suppose it is done; I have 
heard some evidence to that effect. 

373. Then with the British India Company 
and yourself you never had any real difficulty 
or you did not see the necessity in your experi- 
ence to have a light load line for that ? No ; 
in that fleet certamly not. In the first place of 
course you are supplied with careful plans of the 
steamer when she is sent out by the builders ; 
and in all probability she will be listed over for 
stability, and you are guided by that; and in many 
cases the displacement scale that you are supplied 
with would indicate a deep load line and a light 
draught, not always. It has occurred to me to 
have it and it has not. And that brings me to 
the point that I was going to suggest to your 
Lordships, that I see no reason why the builders, 
like the builders of a house, when they turn a 
ship over to her owTiers should not be compelled 
to supply, with the displacement scale, the 
lowest draught at which that steamer ought to 
be taken to sea. 

374. Then I suppose you have had consider- 
able experience of other ships ; have you known 
many cases where ships went to sea in ballast 
without sufficient ballast ? Yes, I have. I was 
lately on an Inquiry in Liverpool on the 
" Heraclides," where undoubtedly it was a case 
of her being sent to sea insufficiently ballasted, 
as we gave in our finding. But there again the 
difficulty was to fix the blame between the 
master and the owners. The master was very 
careful in his evidence that he gave, he did not 
like to say anything ; and the owners were very 
shifty, in fact we could not get the blame home 
to anybody. We could not really state in black 
and white that the owner was right or wrong. 
What we did say was that the captain could not 
be blamed, that came out very clearly. 

375. Then if the captain could not be blamed 
does it not follow as a consequence that the 
owner should be blamed ? Well, I thought so 
personally; but unless it is a question of 
su-spension of certificate, personally if the Judge 
and the other assessors take a different view I 
might yield. In this case I did yield, but I had 
very strong views on that subject ; I thought that 
the owners should have been mulcted in heavy 
damages. As you are aware, we can do that. 
At the last Inquiry I was at it was a case of 
total loss through unseaworthiness from a bad 
leak, and the owners being grossly careless in 
haAring it repaired. In that case we were 
enabled to mulct the owner to the tune of 100. 

376. Was that a case of insufficient ballast- 
ing ? No, that was a case of leak. 

Lord Muskerry. 

377. The " Margaret Mitchell " ? Yes, a 
.scandalous case I considered that. 

378. What 

have you to say 

about water 

Chairman continued, 
ballast? That question arises there. I take 
the view that water ballast along the flooring 
only at one uniform height is not advisable. I 
take it that a section should be much higher to 
ease the amount of rolling that would take 
place. Very often with steamers it is just like 
having too much lead along the bottom; in bad 
weather you roll, roll, roll. If a section of the 
water ballast tank is carried higher, it would 
help the vessel to make easier weather of it. I 
have had to command steamers of that type ; 
one I commanded had 500 tons in her tank 
taken up to the orlop deck, that would be a 
matter of perhaps 12 feet, which is an advantage. 

379. Then how would you regulate it, would 
you regulate it by inspection, or how? I do 
not quite follow you. 

380. You say that the water ballast should be 
put in in a particular way ? Yes. 

381. How should you carry out some regula- 
tion to ensure that being done in the way you 
desire ? It would rest with the specification of 
the owners, which they give the builders. If 
they want it carried right along the flooring, as 
it generally is, they will say so ; If they want a 
section taken much higher, they will say that. 
In that case they use a section that is raised, 
higher for the carriage of cargo as well as water, 
which is an advantage. 

382. Then I see you say, and I think ycu 
agree with some other witnesses, that tramps are 
more affected than liners ; we had that before ? 

383. Is there anything more you wish to say 
upon that ? No, I think legislation is wanted 
particularly for tramps ; and I quite agree with 
what my predecessors have said with regard to 
the responsibility of the master, that he is placed, 
particularly in a tramp steamer, in a very in- 
vidious position. There are so many men stand- 
ing by ready to jump into his slices that in 
many cases he does not really dare to say what 
he really thinks. 

384. You do agree with them in that ? Yes, 

385. Then would you make the law come 
more hardly upon the owner, or how would you 
carry out your view ? You cannot possibly take 
off the responsibility of the master ; he must be 
absolute in the case. 

386. Then how would you carry out your 
view of the hardness that there now is on the 
masters in the case of tramps ? -I would insist 
on every master being supplied with a displace- 
ment scale showing a light load line as well as a 
deep load line. 

387. You are in favour of a light load line ? 

388. 'fo be furnished by the builder ? Yes. 

389. Then there is something I see that you 
wish to say about separate legislation for sailing 
and steam vessels ? Yes. I was going to say 
that you could not make one hard and fast rule 
for sail and steam. It could not bo. A sailing 
ship, of course, has to take into consideration 
the pressure of canvas on her hull in all 
weathers, whereas a steamer has her engines, 
and in some cases it is only a short distance she 
has to traverse ; but a sailing ship has thousands 

D 2 of 



9 March 1903.1 

Captain SiNCLAiu L(JUTIT. 


Chairman continued, 
of milos sometimes, and legislation would have 
to be separate on those points certainly. 

390. Have 3-ou anything to say about par- 
ticular stoamei-s. I see them marked " Margaret 
Mitchell," and some others? That I nave 
alreadv referred to. On the matter of ballast, 
apart from water ballast, shifting Iwards, I think, 
is a matter that should be almost legislated for, 
shifting boanls to keep the ballast in its place. 
The case <>f the " Mocl Tryvan " has been referred 
to several times in this inquiry. I was on that. 
There is no doubt that the vessel was lost from 
the ballast shifting, not from there being an 
insufficient quantity on board. 

391. How would you regulate that? By 
enforcing the use of boards, like they have for 
grain cargo. 

392. And you have already given what your 
individual experience is. What is your view of 
the responsibility of the Board of Trade officials ? 
I agree that it is simply impossible for a 
Board of Trade inspector or surveyor, by a 
cursory glance at a ship going out at the dock 
head, to say she is unseaworthy. That cannot 
be done possibly. There must be a hard and 
fast Ime on that ship's side for him to go by. 

393. Then, though your own experience with 
your ships shows that you did not then require 
a light load line, you are of opinion that m some 
shape or another there should be a light load 
line ? Certainly. 

394. To relieve the responsibility of the Board 
of Trade officers, and for other reasons ? Yes, 
certainly. As a matter of fact, speaking of the 
Plimsoll Load Line, after that load line came 
out we were loaded much her.vicr than we used 
to be before, much deeper in the water ; so that 
that shows how careful the large liners are. The 
Plimsoll mark so far as it concerned us made us 
load our ships much deeper than we did before. 

395. And you do not see any gre;tter difficulty 
about having a light load line than there was 
about having a heavy load line ? There is a 
difficulty inasmuch as it must vary so with the 
type of steamer : that is where the difficulty 
comes in. One vessel of 1,000 tons is fit to go to 
sea with 300 tons of ballast, and another requires 

396. And you would meet that by making the 
builder state the line ? Yes. 

397. Could you rely upon what he laid 
down ? Yes ; tor his own reputation I think the 
builder would act conscientiously. 

398. You would not have any test ? I would 
let it be tested for stability. The Board of Trade 
would come in there again. The Admiralty 
send their inspectors to visit steamers in course 
of construction. 

399. Would it require the inspection of the 
Board of Trade officer during the course of con- 
struction of the ship ? I take it so, to have the 
builders figures tested. 

Lord Muskerry. 

400. What you said about a light load line, 
and having to make different lines for different 
types of steamers applies exactly with the deep 
load line, does it not ? Yes, it does. 

401. There is no pra(!tical difference ? Yes, 
It applies certainly. 

Lord Brassey. 

402. You have suggested that in fixing the 
light load line we may confidentl}' rely upon such 
a line as might be given by the builders in 
their displacement scale ? Yes. 

403. When you talked of the over-supply of 
captains tending to destroj^ their independent 
professional action in certain cases, is it not the 
case that among builders there is a very keen 
competition for orders ? Yes, very keen. 

404. Would there be any reason to apprehend 
that builders who were very keen to get an 
order might be perhaps inclined to so mark a 
line upon their vessel as to satisfy exacting 
owners and tend to prevent their being too 
much troubled about ballast when they were 
swinging their ships round from port to port; 
could you imagine a case looking at it from that 
point of view ? It is possible, of course. You 
cannot legislate for everything ; you cannot 
cover every risk, and that risk might exist. In 
dealing with an unscrupulous builder and a 
poor owner that point might arise. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

405. When you suggest that builders should 
provide a mark to show what the loading should 
be, does not that have the effect of putting the 
responsibilitv upon the builders ? Distinctly, 
the builder fias the responsibility of putting out 
a seaworthjr vessel, and I take it to be an 
important part of her seaworthiness that she 
will stand up properly with a lihiited amount of 
dead weight in her. 

40(5. Then to carry that out it would take the 
responsibility off the Board of Trade, off the 
owner, off the master and put it entirely upon 
the ship builder ? No, 1 do not entirely follow. 
In the first place the Board of Trade representa- 
tive would see the ship listed for stability, and 
then I presume they would have models to 
describe what she would be immersed to with 
this light load line. They need not wait till she 
is finished ; they could have a model made and 
see what the effect Avould be with a certain 
number of tons on board of her. 

407. At any rate both masters and o\viiers 
would be entirely relieved of responsibility ? 
That again would depend upon the owner ; the 
owner would say : "I want a 10,000-ton vessel 
built, of so many hundred tons water ballast, to 
draw as a maximum or minimum drought so 
much." Those questions are always put down 
in the Specification, and the builder complies 
with them. 

408. Then the effect of that would be if the 
builder says what this mark is, then both owner 
and master have no further responsibility ? 
Exactly so in that case. 

Lord Shand. 

409. Would there not be this disadvantage, if 
the ship-builder was to put in a line of the kind 
you have last spoken of, that often there must 
be changes internal and external in a vessel, and 
would not that line not suit such a case of 
change that might occur in course of construc- 
tion ? That point would arise, but they would 
have to be careful to have this after all altera- 
tions on the ship had been finished. 

410. I mean alterations at subsequent dates ? 




9 March 1903.] 

Captain Sinclair Loutit. 


Lord Shand continued. 

There is no structural alteration that takes 
place after a ship is launched. Everything now- 
a-(lays, you see, is cut out so closely, even to a 
nail almost, in the Specification that the owner 
sends in to the builder. 

411. You heard Mr. Wood's evidence I 
think you were in the room ? Yes. 

412. Is there any point in which you differ 
from him, or do you concur in his evidence ? I 
do not quite agree with him in his reference to 
the status and responsibility of masters, but 
that is all. 

413. In other respects you agree with him ? 

Lord Wolverton. 

414. You, as you have told us, have been in 
the employ of the British India Steam Naviga- 
tion Company, and have seen a good deal of 
trade in other ways also, I think ? Yes. 

415. Will you take it from me that the 
figures which I am taking from the report of 
the Port of London of the total home and 
foreign coasting trades of this country amounted 
in the year 1899 to 105,188,504 tons ? Yes. 

416. Now supposing that there was an idea of 
fixing a light load line, would it be possible in 
your opinion to differentiate between tramps and 
other forms of ships ? No, you could not. 

417. Therefore any such legislation would 
affect 105 million tons of .shipping ? That is so. 

418. And as a practical man would you say 
that it would be a very serious thing, without 
deep consideration, to make any alteration in 
the existing law with such very large interests 
as that ? Yes. 

419. Then just for one moment I must take 

Lord Wolverton continued 
you to the Merchant Shipping Act, which I think 
you know 1 have it in front of me here. Do 
you think that some of these sections are not 
strong enough or might bo slightly strengthened ? 
Which sections do you refer to ? 

420. Take Section 459 which says : " The 
Board of Trade, if they have reason to believe, 
on complaint or otherwise, that a British sliip is 
unsafe, may order the ship to be provisionally 
detained as an unsafe ship for the purpose of 
being surveyed." In your opinion, the law as 
at present existing is very strong, is it not ? 
But unfortunately that is generally received as 
applying to overloading, so that that renders the 
Act practically valueless. I do not think any 
surveyor would act on that ; they would always 
take it to mean overloading. 

Lord Brassey. 

4-21. But the previous section specifics as a 
reasonable contingent not only overloading 
but improper loading ? That is when she is a 

422. That would be the natural result of 
being insufficiently ballasted ? If your Lordship 
will pardon me, that enters into a very deep 

Lord Wolverton. 

423. Perhaps it is not fair to take you through 
it, but it does call them that, and it also calls 
them " unseaworthy " in Section 457, so that we 
get them as unseaworthy and unworthy to go to 
sea, defective in equipments, hull, machinery, 
etc. I only wanted your opinion as to what you 
thought of the existing law h It is strong 
enough, I thinK, if it is properly executed. 

The Witness is directed to withdraw. 

Ordered, That this Committee be adjourned to to-morrow, at Twelve o'clock 


[ 31 ] 

Die Martis, 10" Martii 1903. 


Earl Spencek. 


Lord Brassey. 
Lord Shand 
Lord Inverclyde. 

The Earl SPENCER in the Chair 

Rear-Admiral G. T. H. BO YES is called in ; and Examined, as follows 


424. Will you kindly say if you are in office 
now-' Yes. 

425. Would you state what office you hold? 
I am Director of Transports at the Admiralty. 

42G. And you have had something to do with 
merchant vessels in other capacities ? Yes. 
Before 1 begin, may I say that my views are 
those of a late nautical assessor ; that I do not 
represent the views of the Admiralty in any way 

427. You have been a nautical assessor ? I 
was a nautical assessor for a couple of vears: 

428. Recently ? I left in November 1901, 
when I took on at the Admiralty. 

429. Then would you state what you desire to 
bring before the Committee ? Well, my Lord, 
as I explained in my letter, my experience is 
limited very limited, and I have no experience 
of ships going to sea without enough ballast, 
but iu the case of an inquiry at Liverpool, in 
October, 1901, there was a ship called the 
" Limache," which left Callao for Tobago in 
ballast, and she was a total loss. The Court, of 
which I was a member, was ordered to assemble 
to find out the reason for the loss of this ves- 
sel, if it could be found out, and amongst other 
questions submitted to us was: Had the ves- 
sel sufficient ballast? Well, there were no 
drawings of this ship nothing for us to go upon 
except lier past performances ; however, failing 
evidence to the contrary, we accepted those past 
performances, which were the record of what 
the ship apparently had been doing, trading up 
and down the coast. We found that the loss of 
the ship was probably due, however, to the 
ballast not being properly secured it was 
shingle ballast, which is a very dangerous de- 
scription of ballast, and as we had it in evidence 
that it had not been "lommed" down, or, in 
fact, secured in any way, to prevent its shift- 
ing except by centre shifting boards, which in 
our opinion were not sufficient we gave as our 
reason for the supposed loss, although we could 

Chairman continued, 
not say what actually caused it, that it was 
possible it might have been owing to the shift- 
ing of the ballast. When I am asked by Lord 
..Muskerry if I can give any opinion about this 
matter, 1 say that it came before me as an assessor 
that a light load line would no doubt have been 
of great assistance. It would practically be a 
line placed by experts, which would mark the 
minimum immersion of the ship ; it would be 
open to everybody concerned, and it would set- 
tle at once whether the ship had her proper 
ballast in ; and, therefore, the time of the Court 
in this case would have been saved. Instead 
of the Court going through a lot of evidence 
and taking up a lot of time to find out what 
ballast a ship had or ought to have had, this 
line would have settled the matter at once, and 
the Court would have been relieved of that part 
of the inquiry and would have gone in for other 
matters. On that, I may say the question of 
deciding what the quantity of ballast should 
be, is a very difficult matter ; it varies, of course, 
in different ships according to their form and 
other qualities. You may state, I think, that it is 
the amount the quantitj- that a sailing vessel 
should carry so that she may stand up properly 
under her canvas and make her voyage in bal- 
last to the port she is going to in a reasonable 
time. Of course, verj' much depends upon how a 
vessel is handled. I think a ship, no matter what 
quantity of ballast, reasonably speaking, she may 
have, if she is not handled properly will capsize : 
the question is how much she ought to carry if 
properly handled and properh' watched. This 
is a matter to be cast out by experts, who, of 
course, would ascertain it from the lines of the 
ship and comparison with other ships of a similar 
type. I think it would certainly be an advantage 
to have this settled. 

430. Have you any other case that you want 
to draw attention to besides that of the " Lim- 
ache " ? Yes. The " Cape Wrath " was a ship 
which we inquired into at the same time. Tn 




10 Marcli 1903.] 

Rear-Adrairal G. T. H. Boves. 


Chairman continued. 

the case of that ship there was plenty of evid- 
ence about the quantity of ballast which she 
ought to liave carried, and we found that it was 
sufficient, but there was a matter which came 
up during the inquiry, and was stated in evid- 
ence, that when sluugle ballast sometime previous 
to the ballasting of this ship was being taken 
iu, it was discovered that the tubs were of short 
weight I am not prepared to say (because I am 
speaking from memory) whether this short 
weight was fraud, or whether it was the result of 
an accident. Anyhow, the witness stated that 
short weight tubs had been used, and, as far as 
I can remember, in consequence of that, some 
ships must have gone to sea without their proper 
amount of ballast. There, again, I think the 
light load line would come in, because it would 
establish, not only the amount of ballast the ship 
ought to have, but whether she had got the right 
quantity in which she ought to have had. 

431. But in both these cases you cannot posi- 
tively say that the loss of the ships came about 
from not having sufficient ballast? No. The 
Court found that the other ship, too, was properly 
ballasted with shingle ballast. We were told it 
was properly secured, but as to this there was in- 
sufficient evidence. The ship ran into very bad 
weather off the coast of Oregon. 

432. You used some expression (I forget in 
what connection) about fraud ? Yes. 

433. A\Tiat did you mean by that? I meant 
to say I did not know whether this short weight 
ballast was fraud or not whether it was inten- 
tional ; it may have been accidental. 

434. Do you think fraud is often used in these 
-cases ? There, again, I have no experience, and 

ought not to give any opinion. This case was 
mentioned by a witness in the case of the ship 
we were trying the case that had happened pre- 
viously. We were endeavouring to find out 
whether there was any probability of that ship 
not having had a proper amount of ballast. 

435. Have you any means of stating the num- 
ber of cases where accidents happen to vessels 
owing to insufficient ballast? No, I have no ex- 
perience of that. 

436. Youi cannot give any general opinion as 
to the need of it, in consequence of a great many 

-accidents? No, I can only give it as it occurred 
to me from these two ships that came before me. 

437. In your experience as a seaman and 
Naval officer, would you see any difficulty in hav- 
ing a light load line established for merchant 
ships? No; I think it would be a matter for 
calculation. Do you mean in placing it, in cal- 
culating it, or as regards fettering the trade of 
our ships, as compared with foreigners ? 

438. No, I mean in deciding. If Parliament 
said there should be a light load line established, 
would you see any great difficulty in arriving at 
that? No, not by experts. 

439. How would you do it? ^Well, they would 
have to construct, I should say, a cun-e of 
stability ; and they would have to compare that 
with the known form, stability, and perform- 
ances of other ships not necessarily exactly the 
same, they could strike a mean between them. 
The perfonnances of typical ships would be the 
best record, I should think, to go by. 

Chairman continued. 

440. Then, you have no evidence to give as 
to the action of the officers of the Board of Trade, 
whose duty it is to detain ships on account of 
their not being safe for sea as to whether they 
can do their duty in dealing with these cases of 
light loads? I think it would be quite open to 
them to detain a ship going away which was not 
properly immersed in the same manner, as it is 
open to them to detain a ship which is going 
away too deeply immersed. 

441. Could that be done without a light load 
line? No; jf there was a light load line, if it 
was laid down, then it could be done. 

442. You think in the present circimistances, 
where there is no light load line there, would be 
a difficulty in the officer carrying this duty out? 
Without a light load line, most certainly; he 
would only have the draught of water to go 
bj' ; that would be quite a different thing. 

443. I do not know that I want to ask j-ou 
any questions such as we had yesterday, as to 
the responsibility of the master whether it 
ought to be thrust on him, and whether he can 
carry out his duty in reporting about the bal- 
last in his ship? No. Of course, I know very 
little about that, except that in these two cases 
it was in each case stated that the ballasting was 
to be at the discretion of the master. I would 
rather the master was relieved of that discretion, 
and that he had no alternative but to take in a 
certain amount. 

444. You would throw it on the owners? 
Well, if the light load line was laid down by 
law, it would most certainly be on the master, 
because he could not go to sea disobeying the 
law, with the light load line. 

445. With the light load line? Yes, with 
the light load line ; otherwise I think it would 
be difficult, the conditions vary so. The mas- 
ter may be going to make a very short journey ; 
you could hardly expect him, in the interest of 
his owners, to take in as much ballast as if he 
was going up to some place where he expected 
to encounter bad weather. 

446. Have you any knowledge as to the feel- 
ing among .nasters of trading vessels on this 
subject? ^No. 

Lord Shand. 

447. Suppose you had a light load line, how 
would it affect the matter of ballast. Do you 
think the ballast must be put in every quarter of 
the vessel below that light load line, or is it in 
compartments only ? It would be stowed really 
according to the trim of the ship. 

448. Then the light load line would scarcely 
assist you in the ballasting, if that be so, be- 
cause you have that element without the light 
load line. I want to see the connection between 
the two? Perhaps I do not quite understand 
the question. 

449. Do you mean that all space is to be oc- 
cupied b;)- ballast below that light load line or 
not? Certainly. You would trim the ballast 
so as to keep the ship what you would call pro- 
perly trimmed. 

450. Would the ballast be put in at every 
place up to the measure of the light load line? 
You mean from inside ? 

461. Yes? ^We shoxild look from the outside 



10 March 1903] 

Rear- Admiral G. T. H. Boyes. 


Lord Shand continued. - 
to see the li^ht load line ; we should see that she 
was immersed or had a draught of water up to 
the mark indicated by the line outside. 

452. You would have her ballasted so that 
the water just came up to the light load line in 
that case:-' -That is it; just the outside line. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

453. Would it not be the case with different 
tjpes of ships even if there were the light load 
hne that it would have to be considered which 
was the best part of the ship in which to put the 
ballast ? Oh yes ; it would be a matter of trim. 

454. Would you leave that entirely to the 
discretion of the captain ? That would be left 
to the captain, certainly, and I should think to 
the owners ; at the first going off the trim of the 
vessel would be ascertained. 

455. Supposing a vessel leaving, say, a foreign 
port with a light load line, it would be entirely 
m the master's discretion as to in which part 
of the ship he placed the ballast, and yet if she 

Lord Brasaey continued. 

464. And those who are competent from their 
position with regard to their owners, would not 
hesitate to insist that the ship should be suffi- 
ciently ballasted ? Yes. 

465. There are some captains who are not so 
competent from their position who might hesi- 
tate to give advice which involved expense ? 
Quite so ; ballast, no doubt, is expensive expen- 
sive to get in and expensive to get out. One 
can quite undertend that a master would not 
take more than he considered was absolutely^ 

466. With regard to the loss of life from a 
disaster arising from insufficient ballast, statistics 
do not indicate that that is a serious percentage 
do they ? I do not know that. 

Lord Muskert-y. 

467. You have had many year's experience at 
sea ; do not you think that (say) even a steamer 
which shows an enormous amount (say 20 feet) 
of side, and draws about 6 or 8 feet forward, and 

was immersed up to her light load line he might "^^^^ the boss of the propellor nearly a-wash, it 
quite well put it in the wrong part of the ship ? is very hard to handle ner, with anything like 
I take it the line would have to be painted so 
as to follow the trim of the ship ; that is to say, 
you would not have a ship immersed deep down 
at the stern and cocking up at the bow. 

456. Do you think one ught load line is suffi- 
cient for dealing with all classes of vessels ? 
You mean one light load line to the ship itself? 

457. Each different class of vessel does not 
require to be dealt with by itself, does it ? You 
mean as regards placing the line ? 

458. Yes ? Oh certainly, every ship would 
have to be reckoned on her own lines; you 
could not have any settled draught of water that 
the ship was to have ; some ships require more 
draught of water than others ; a full-bottomed 
sh ip and a ship of " peg-top " section are two 
different concerns. 

459. Would not there be a good deal of 
difference between sailing ships and steamers ? 
I am not giving any evidence about steamers. I 
have mentioned that to Lord Muskerry. 

460. Not steamers ? No ; no steamers have 
come under my observation. 

46L Have you often come across vessels which 
were unmanageable owing to their being under- 
ballasted ? No. 

462 You have not come across vessels hoisting 
signals as being unmanageable ? No. 

Lord Brassey. 
463. Do you think that good 
from making the itstructions of 
Trade to their detaining officers 
with reference to the notice to 

would result 
the Board of 
more precise 
be taken of 
vessels proceeding to sea obviously insufficiently 
ballasted ^ The detaining officers are watchful 
a.s we know, but there is hesitation with reference 
to of overloading ; do you think good would 
result from giving them more precise instruc- 
tions to be watchful to prevent vessels proceed- 
in to sea which were obviously insufficiently 
ballasted ? ^Yes ; I think such instructions no 
doubt would be beneficial as drawing attention 
to the necessity, but I think the masters of ships 
*re awake tiiemselves to the necessity for 

a strong breeze a-head, in a heavy sea ? On, yes; 

468. In fact, on a lee shore, if it was to blow 
anything hke hard, it would be nearly inipossible 
for such a ship to get off the shore. What you 
said in your answers about ships coming round, 
from one port to another, making short journeys 

along the English coast ? I did not say 

" the English coast ; " I was talking of the coast 

469. Well, the coast generally if she was 
suddenly caught in one of these squalls with a 
lee shore under her, she would be in a position 
of very cousiderable danger, would she not ? 
Most certainly she would be ; in fact if she ims 
going in any way to make what is called a 
coasting voyage she ought to have just as much 
ballast as if she were going to make a long 

470. Then as to the difficulty about assigning 
the light load line there is at present, is there 
not, all the machinery for assigning the deep 
load line ? Yes 

471. Would not you think the same machinery 
would be quite as available and as capable of 
dealing with the light load line as with tne deep 
load line ? As regards sailing ships I should 
think not; no, I should think the light load 
line would have to be specially considered. 

472. In settling how deep a vessel is to be im- 
mersed with the deep load line they have to take 
into consideration the curves of the ship, the 
shape of the ship, and everything that would 
apply in the case of the light load line ? Quite 
so; yes. 

473. Do not you think that the mark would 
be of great valuo both to the detaining officers 
and to every one connected with the ship ? The 
light load line, 

474. Yes? Yes, I am of opinion that that 
would be so. You see a ship too deeply im- 
mersed is just as dangerous as a ship too lightly 
immersed, because if she heels over the deck 
goes under water and she loses a part of her 
buoyancy, just the same as a ship does that lifts 
her bilge out when she is too light. 

E 475. In 



10 March 1903.] 

Ke;u- Admiral G. T. H. Eoyes. 

I Continued 

Lord Miiskerry continued. - Lord Musken-y contituied. 

475. In the one case of depth she is more steamer ! I would rather not speak about 
likely to be manageable if too deeply immersed steamers. In sailing ships I should say the one 
than if too lightly nnmersed a steamer ? Oh, a is as bad as the other. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 

Captain ALEXANDER GREIG NOBLE is called in ; and Examined, as follows : 


476. Will you state what you are ? I am 
An Extra-master, my Lord; I have been 21 i 
jears at sea; I have served in all classes of 
vessels and in all grades ; I have sailed in liners 
and I have sailed m tramps, so that I can fairly 
claim to have gone through the mill. I am at 
present in business in London. 

477. You are not a master at the present 
moment ? Not at the moment. With your 

Eermission I shall read the abstract that I 
ave sent along : " The only thing that sur- 
prises me is that such an inquiry is necessary, 
as the most inexperienced person could not fail 
to see what must happen to one of these vessels 
in a sea-way when they can be seen leaving port 
any day with the boss of their propellers barely 
covered bj' the water, i.e., if it is explained to 
him what the propeller is intended to do. It 
is obvious then that the propeller must be as 
often out of the water as it is in it, hence the 
lack of power required to propel such a structure 
along, especially as they are nothing more or less 
than a floating balloon, on the surface of the 
water only, and therefore, having no grip, are 
exposed to wind and sea, and the situation is the 
more grave should they find themselves on a lee 
sfiore at any time. Nothing is then left but the 
two anchors to depend on, and if the chains snap, 
such a vessel becomes a mystery of the sea. 
Again, a continuation of bad weather even away 
clear of land plays havoc with them. I never 
had the misfortune to be jammed up on a lee 
.shore, though I put in twelve hours in the North 
Sea during a winter gale when chief officer of the 
:s.s. " Loch Lomond," a night of horrors, such as I 
never experienced during ray 21 J years at sea. We 
left Dundee as darkness set in, and shortly after 
leaving the Tav we encountered a S.E. gale and 
heavy sea. We Avere bound for Middlesbro'. 
As it is usual with this class of tramp steamer 
whenever the sea came away, she fell off, and 
would not head the sea." 

478 But you do not say whether she was in 
ballast or not ? She was in ballast. 

Lord Wolverton. 

479. What year was this ? (1-892, I believe ; 
I left the training brig in 1891 ; I was in 
command of the Clyde training brig in 1891) ; 
" but took up a position with the wind four points 
on the starboard bow. We naturallv preferred 
to stand off the land, as the weather land by this 
time set in thick. As the sea rose, however, she 
jsimply lost all way through the water, and be- 
came unmanageable. The situation now was 
simply appalling. Roll she rolled for a wager 
in tne trough of the sea, so much so, that the 
firemen were badly knocked about, hurt, and 
were unable to tire at all. Meanwhile the steam 

Lord Wolverton continued. 

fell and she was then a floating derelict, a 
common danger to navigation On deck, boats' 
davits .guys carried away, also the wire brace 
pennants, vangs. and generally speaking, every- 
thing about the decks got adrift, and to cap 
all, the chains of the steering gear came 
ofl' the quadrant and the rudder took 
charge. Her violent rolling by this time 
had assumed such proportions that on several 
occasions the back-wash of the sea found its 
way over the upper bridge while the yards 
adrift threatened to bring down the fore mast 
about our ears. Happily, towards daylight the 
wind veered to the S.W., when the sea fell, and 
we were able to proceed on our voyage. Had 
we been jammed up on a lee shore nothing 
could have saved us.' (I emphasize these words, 
my Lord). " After leaving Middlesbro' on the 
passage out to Madras we discovered broken 
rivets, rivets out here and there, and one bul- 
wark stanchion adrift from the iron deck. It is 
in the Atlantic trade where vessels are exposed 
to bad weather for a lengthened period, that we 
read of mysteries of the sea. Nothing can with- 
stand the terrible strain to which they are 
exposed from bad weather, not to speak of the 
racing of their engines " (it shakes the whole 
hull into pieces). " WTiile we have vessels afloat 
like this one, it does not follow, however, that 
all tramp steamers in ballast trim behave in the 
same way. I commanded one of the same 
company's steamers for over four years, and the 
only comfortable time I had in her was when 
she was in ballast trim. She was a model how- 
ever, one of the old school, and not one of the 
warehouse type, to which I have referred. While 
trading in the Black Sea in this vessel 1 had 
many experiences in avoiding collision with light 
boats in bad weather, all of which appeared to 
behave in the same manner as I have described. 
In the dark you can never tell what they are 
doing, the only safeguard is to give them a wide 


480. Now I do not think vou mentioned the 
name of this vessel ? The "Loch Lomond." 

481. We had better have that the " Loch 
Lomond " Was she an old vessel ? She was 
about in the fourth year when I joined her. 

482. In this case you were the master, I 
understand ? I was the chief officer on that 

483. The chief officer ? Yes. 

484. Then had the master taken any steps to 
see that the ballast was right before she left 
Dundee ? The ballast tanks in the usual way 
were filled up fore and aft ; and we went to 
sea after the cargo was discharged. 

485. But 




10 March 1903.] 

Captain A. G. Noble. 


Chairman continued. 

485. But he was responsible for the ballast 
being suttioient ? He was responsible for the 
ballast I admit that, ni}- Lord ; but what could 
he do ? He could not open his mouth. 

486. AN'hy not ? He would be told at once 
there were hundreds ready to take his place. 
There are hundreds of men in the same pre- 
dicament to-day. 

4S7. Are you aware whether he was satisfied 
with the amount of ballast the ' Loch Lomond " 
carried / He had just joined her at that time 
but that vessel had been sailing for about four 
years and never experienced such weather as 
that ; I wu-j in her 18 months after that and never 
had such :i thing ; we met with little breezes, but 
nothing U> speak about. It is only now and 
then they u'et such experiences on these voyages. 

488. I suppose she ought to have been 
ballasted for the worst weather ? You would 
think so, but she was not. 

419. Were you satisfied with the ballast that 
was put into her ? I saw the chief engi- 
neer and asked him if he had put in any 
ballast ; he said he had ; but she was like a 
balloon afloat on the water, and I said to him : 
" Dear me, what a caravan to go to sea in." You 
see that kind of thing every day in the Black 
Sea ; we come them and cannot make out 
what they are ; they roll down on top of you and 
vou cannot see what they are, and are glad to 
keep out of their way. 

490. Have you seen many ? Hundreds of 
them during my experience at sea, I have no 
hesitation in saying that ; it is a well-known fact 
an established fact, in the Mercantile Marine. 

491. No doubt we shall have Returns as to the 
number of ships that have been supposed to be 
lost, or disabled from insufficient ballasting, but 
can you giveany figures yourself? I cannotgo into 
figures, but I .should say a good indication of the 
safety or danger of those steamers might be 
gauged by their carr}qng capacity over their 
nett registered tonnage; that is to say, the 
greater the carrying capacity the greater 
the danger. You will hear of some ot 
these vessels carrying three times their registered 
tonnage, but I say that a ship such as that nmst 
be a " daisy " at sea. Then there is one other 
thing. The marking of the light load line 
would do away with friction between the ship- 
owners, the masters of the ships, and the Board 
of Trade surveyors. As things are at present, 
without any change, the officer of the Board of 
Trade, in the first place, would be afraid to stop 
a ship in case he should get himself into trouble. 
Now .ships go out with the PlimsoU mark on 
them ; it they go out deeper than they ought to 
do the shipowner and tne master know that 
they are exposed to penalties ; some shipowners 
encourage their masters to take in all they can. 
Going to sea I say is like life itself, one half of the 
mercantile marine do not know how the other 
half get along. I was in liners for seven and 
a-half years sailing out of Glasgow belonging to 
Messrs. George Smith and Son. The masters 
are treated in a most respectful way in liners, 
but in tramps they are subjected to insults in 
every manner. In tramp vessels, if you 
do not carry out what you know to be the 


Chairman continued, 
wishes of the owners and become almost 
criminals in the eyes of the law, you are not 
required. That is the state of affairs ; and I am 
here to speak in the interests of those who go 
to sea. It is without prejudice that I speak, 
because I am in business now and away from 
the sea. 

492. Do you know of owners who reproach 
the masters if they do not act in the way you 
suggest? It is general, but the masters are 
afraid to open then- mouths ; if they do they are 
sifted out at once. Whenever the shipowner 
hears that a captain has been opening his mouth 
he clears him out, not on that ground perhaps, 
but on some pretext or other. 

493. It strikes me as a strange thing if the 
owners are not aware of the dangers tfiey run 
by insufficient ballasting. They do not wish to 
run the risk of danger ? I do not believe any 
respectable shipowner would send his ship to sea 
in what he believed to be a dangerous condition ; 
but the Government allows these vessels to be 
built, and they are being built, and the shipowner 
naturally is anxious to carry as much as ever he 

494. I should have thought it would have been 
the interest of the shipowner to have seen that 
no unnecessary risk was run ? Some of them 
do not much care whether you ever come back, 
if I mistake not. 

495. In the case of bad ships ? Yes. There 
are black sheep in every flock. 

496. You are speaking of the ships as " flocks " 
now. There are bad ships afloat as well as good 
ones ? Bad " sheep." 

497. "Bad sheep"? Yes. "Black sheep" 
who do not care. 

498. Bad ships ; is not that what you mean ? 
Yes ; that is so. 

499. I only want to interpret what you said 

Lord Muskerry. 

500. "Black sheep" was it not that you 
said ? Yes. 

501. You think that there are men amongst 
the shipowners of that character ? Yes. 

502. Now there is a good deal said about the 
discretion that a master is supposed to exercise ; 
I have seen numerous letters of instruction in 
wh ch discretion is left to the master ; of what 
value is that discretion ? Have the masters any 
discretion ? In the " tramps " my experience 
was that the master was simply " the fifth wheel 
to a coach " ; in the liners he was " the master ' 
of the ship. In the liners he was the real man 
that they nad at heart. 

503. Then in the liners the master is given 
full discretion ? In every way. 

504. In the tramps he is not Well, my expe- 
rience was that he was not. I can only give you 
my own personal experience. 

505. Then the master of tramp would not be 
able to take in extra ballast if^ he thought it 
necessary ? Not at all. He has just got the one 
limit which he has to carry out, and he has got 
to be very civil about it. That is the state of 
affairs. There are hundreds of such men. Yon 
have only to go forward to the forecastle and 
there you will find plenty of men who hold a 
ship-master's certificate; the master is sub- 

E 2 jected 



10 March 1903.] 

C'aptaia A. G. Noble. 


Lord Muskerry continued. 

jected to theinsultsof asuporintendent engineer 
very often, and it is very hard and rougli on 
him, I can assure you. 

Lord Brastey. 

506. So far as you know, are any precautions 
taken by the nnd.erAVTitcrs, who are respon.sible 
for the loss of the ships, to ensure that tnoy are 
properly ballasted ? I am not aware of any. I 
never knew of ony person looking after a ship 
:going to sea in ballast ; in the case of a loaded 
ship yes ; they give attention to that. 

507. You thmk that some care is exercised to 
prevent over-loading on behalf of the under- 
writers, but that no care is exercised to prevent 
vessels from being sent to sea with insufficient 
ballast ? I never knew of a case. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

508. Do you consider that ships that are built 
\vith ballast tanks and arc supposed to leave the 
shipbuilders, yard with proper stability, are not 
in that condition ? The prooi of the pudding is 
in the eating, I say. 

509. What is the " proof" ? The proof is that 
the vessel was fitted in the way referred to with 
tanks fore and aft and went to sea, simply a 
floating balloon with the boss of her propeller 
j ust barely covered. <;'* ."' 

510. You cannot give us statistics as to the 
number of cases where this has happened ? No. 
It is very general in the Black Sea ; it is very 
common to meet these vessels there. 

511. Has loss of life resulted from it ? Many 
of these vessels go ashore, I should think. 

512. But you do not know? I could not go 
into figures ; I can only give you my own prac- 
tical experience. 

{513. Have you come across many vessels at 
sea which have been flying signals to the effect 
that they were unmanageable ? No, but I have 
seen them rolling about in the trough of the sea ; 
it was painful to look at them. 

514. They were not unmanageable ? They 
were unmanageable ; they were not fit to keep 
lut of the way. 

Lord Wolverton. 

515. You spoke about ships in the Black Sea 
in ballast ? Yes. 

516. Could you inform the Committee what 
the trade is with the Black Sea. I have heard 
this same thing before, that the Black Sea is a 
place where you do meet these ships ; can you 
tell us where they are coming from ? They 
come from Italy. We go out from Cardiff or 
the Tyne with co&ls generally to one of the 
Italian ports. Then we always go round from 
the Italian port to a Black Sea port or Sea of 
Azov, calling at Constantinople for orders ; and 
often after leaving the Bosphorus we get caught 
in the way I have described. 

517. When you are in ballast ? Yes. 

518. You go out with coal ? I have gone out 
from Glasgow to Odessa direct with coal, but 
generally speaking these vessels come from one 
of the Itahan ports in ballast up through the 
Bosphorus to some of the Black Sea ports. All 
that passage is made in barast. I have often 

Lord Wolverton contiimed. 

come across vessels in the Adriatic in the same 
plight, and in the MediterraneaTi. 

519. Then the detaining port would have to 
be somewhere in Italy to deal with such cases as 
those ? Yes ; I suppose Genoa, Leghorn, Savona, 
or some of those places I used to go to them 

520. There is only one other question I want 
to ask you : When you were at sea were you, as 
a well-read man yourself, and yovir friendis, who 
were well-reatl also, aware that you had any 
protection under the Merchant Shipping Act at 
that time, and that you have at present ? Never. 

521. You never had any conversation about 
that amongst yourselves ? 1 never heard of 
such a thing ; I never heard of anyone bothering 
themselves about that. The only thing the 
masters can do is to make the best of it until 
something is done to relieve them. At the 
present time it is very rough on them. 1 myself 
nave been on my feet for as long as 72 hours 
without turning in. I have gone in a fog from 
Hamburg all the way across the North Sea into 
Blyth ; 1 have no sooner got into Blyth than I 
have been ordered to go under the coal tips; 
I have had be on my feet that day and nignt, 
the next day, and the next night. While we 
have been loading the ship I have had to be 
about because I could not trust to the mate for 
the simple reason that I was responsible for 
overloading ; and then I have gone away to sea 
again ; and in that way I have oeen on my feet 
for another 72 hours before T could clear Ushant. 
I think it would be better if something could 
be done to assist the shipmaster in such a 
way as to give him an opportunity of turning 
in for a night before he goes to sea again. 

522. You did not know, speaking generally, 
that you were protected under certain sections of 
the Merchant Shipping Act? I never heard of 
such a t.hing. I say if the shipowners had to 
do the same as has to be done on shore in 
the case of houses (that is to say, we are not 
allowed to build a house without submitting plans 
which must be passed), there would not be so 
many of these " traps " knocking about. 

Lord Shand. 

523. W^hat do you consider would be adequate 
protection, which is a very general phrase? I 
think before a ship was built, the owner should 
be obliged to supply plans for approval, just as 
we have to do in building a structure on shore ; 
then those plans would be submitted to experts, 
who would decide questions of lotui line, and 
everything else about them. 

524. tiuite so. I understand your evidence to 
come to this : nothing short of a light load line 
would be adequate protection? That is my 

525. If it is merely left to an inspector under 
the general law under the Statute of 1894, which 
deals with the case of a vessel improperly loaded, 
that you do not consider would be ade<]uate pro- 
tection ? I do not think it would be, because he 
would be afraid to open his mouth in many cases. 

526. Do you mean that the inspector would be 
afraid to open his mouth ? He would be ; 
whereas, if a lip-ht load line were fixed by law 
that would save friction all round. 

527. If 



10 March 1903.] 

Captain A. G. Noble. 


Lord /SVttfnci continued. 

527. If it ia said that tke protection afforded 
iy the 1894 Statute is " adequate protection," 
you are of opinion that it is not so ? That is it. 


528. Have you anything else you would like to 
say to the Committee? Nothing, my Lord. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 

Me. EDWARD CATMORE CHASTON is called in; and Examined, as follows: 



529. Will you say what you are what pro- 
iession you belong to? I am a marine superin- 
tendent engineer. 

530. Will you say what experience you have 
iad ? I have written all that in the paper be- 
Jor your Lordship. 

531. I am leading you through it. Have you 
been at sea? Yes, 12 years. 

532. In what capacity? Fourth engineer, 
third engineer, second engineer, and chief en- 

533. In what trades? All trades, excepting 
Australia and New Zealand. 

534. East Indian, China, Japan, North and 
South Atlantic? Yes. 

535. And you have a. certificate? Yes, first 

536. First class engineer? Yes, Board of 

537. Board of Trade; what date? August 
23rd, 1883. 

538. 25th August, 1883, you state here; you 
ihave also some other certificates ? Yes ; Board 
of Trade in Japan. 

539. The Japan Board of Trade? Yes. 

540. How long have you held that?- 

541. Then you got a certificate from the City 
<juild for mechanical engineering ; is that so? 

542. Besides various South Kensington certifi- 
cate* ? ^Yes. 

543. Are you in the Royal Naval Reserve? 

544. As what? Senior engineer. 

545. And when is the date of your commission ? 
December, four years ago, I think. 

546. 1889, were you assistant marine engineer 
superintendent with any fii-m? ^Yes, with Mr. 
"Havelock, of Newcastle. 

547. During the iime you were with Mr. Have- 
lock what had Mr. Havelock under his super- 
vision? About 27 steamers. 

548. What sort of steamers? We had about 
seven built while I was with him. 

549. Were they tiamp steajners? Yes 
general caigo bond fide " tramp." 

550. Somf! were built while you were with 
"him. One of the members of the Committee 
wishes you to give a definition of what a 
"tramp" steamer is. Will you do that? Tell 
us what a tramp steamer exactly is ? A tramp 
steamer is a hand fide caigo boat ; she iust trades 
anywhere and everywhere ; that is, she is not a 
Tegular liner. A regular liner is a vessel that 
trades between two ports, say, from New York 
to London direct, but a tramp steamer may go 
Ifrom London to New York one voyage, and next 

Chairman continued. 

voyage it may go from London down to the 
Cape, and then it may go from, the Gape out to 
Calcutta in ballast, and then home it may go 
anywhere, tramp all over the globe. 

Lord Brassey. 

551. Going seeking and finding that is what 
it comes to, does it not ? Yes. 


552. Not necessarily a coastwise steamer? 
No, not necessarily. The term " Tramp " de- 
termines the sort of vessel, and distin^ishes 
it from a coaster. A coaster is a vessel that 
just runs up and down the coast. 

553. During the time you were with Mr. 
Havelock, were any ships built there? Two at 
Short Brothei-8, one at William Dobson's, two at 
Furness Withys, one at Palmers three, I should 
have said, at Furness Withys. 

554. What had you to do when you were 
there? I was assistant superintendent en- 
gineer ; I had to see that the ships were com- 
plete in all details supervise their building. 

555. Had you any connection with the 
" Planet " Line of steamers ? I am the head 
superintendent of the " Planet " Line at 

556. Oh, you are now? Yes. 

557. Have you been so for some time? Six 

558. What is the fleet of tho " Planet' Line? 
At the present day there art,' nine of them. 

559. And the tonnage what is that? Rang- 
ing from 5,600 to 6,700 tons dead weight each 

560. What is the approximate insurance value 
of these ships? Approximately, I value them 
at 40,OOOZ. each ; some of them run to 42,000Z. ; 
but the present insurance value is not less than 

561. What are the " Planet" Line where do 
they trade? They trade principally, or partly, 
to Bombay, Calcutta, Karachi. We have now 
one in the East India Dock loading for the 

562. Trading from the home ports, or be- 
tween Indian ports? Generally, but tffis last 
three or four months we have had four running 
out to the Cape. 

563. You have considered the subject that 
is before the Committee, have not you? Yes. 
When I say " we," I mean that we as an insti- 
tution of engineers and ship builders in the 
North have taken the thing up seriously since 

564. Then I see you have some experience in 




10 March 1903.] 

Mr. Chaston. 


Chairman conHoMed. 
the trial of a tramp steamer the " Hathor," 
is it!-' Yes. 

6U5. Will you state what that experience was ? 
"We took her out for trial, and she was so 
light aft that we were afraid of bursting her 
propeller aft, and, therefore, we took all the 
gear we could from the fore end to the aft end 
to put her down lower in the water. 

56G. How had the ballast been settled who 
had settled ihat? The superintendent gener- 
ally he advises the owner. 

567. "Was that ship one of the "Planet" 
Line? No; she was built by the "Hathor" 
Steamship Company, of 6, Crosby Square, 

568. "What was your experience in inspect- 
ing this ship that she had a perfectly insuf- 
ficient amount of ballast, was it? She had not 
enough by lat least 200 tons. 

569. That is what I say that she had insuf- 
ficient ballast? ^Yes, insufficient. 

57 U. Was she practically unmanageable when 
she had this insufficient ballast? She made 
verj- bad passages ; she made long passages ; 
.she would be about 17 days doing 15 days' work ; 
she made a veiy bad passage on that first voyage 
out to the West. 

571. I thought this was a trial? Yes; but 
after the trial she went away and made a very 
bad passage. 

572. And was she unmanageable in that pas- 
sage y Not necessarily. 

573. Then is there anything else with regard 
to this particiilar ship that you wish to say? 
Nothing in regard to the "Hathor." 

574. You wish to say something with regard 
to a paper j-^ou read on " Screw shafting, with 
some causes of defects and failures," do not 
you? I think you have the extracts there; 
1 have the paper. Here it is. 

575. You consider that defects and failures 
of shafting are often attributable to under bal- 
lasting is that so? Fully 80 per cent., not 

576. Do you wish to lay these points before 
the Committee? ^No, because I say there that 
I am not in favour of legislation for the bal- 
last line, because we, the members of the North- 
Easi Coast Institute of Engineers and Ship- 
huilders, have been dealing with this ourselves 
since 1899. 

577. We have the book ; you need not refer 
to that? That is really the sequel to this. I 
have broxight this copy to let you see it. 

578. I was told that this was what you wanted 
to say? ^Yes. 

579. I was leading you up to it. Do not 
you want to state something with regard to 
what you consider the defects and failures of 
stafting are attributable to? I attribute at 
least 80 per cent, to the want of sufficient ballast. 

580. Then you do not want to refer to what 
Mr. ililton said, or Mr. Fothergill? ^No. I 
just put that there to let you see the opinions 

581. What is the upshot of what they said? 
^The upshot is that we have come to the con- 
clusion now til at we will have the ships suf- 
ficiently ballasted. 

583. I do not want to have you read this; 

Chairman continued. 

but if you consider it important we will have 
it on the evidence ? It is not important to read . 
it, but just to let you see the drift of the afEair. 

583. If you think it is desirable we should see 
it, we had better have it on the evidence. I can- 
not tell whether you think it important. Do 
you wish to read to us here what Mr. Milton says ? 
I can read it from here (referring to a 

584. Very well. We can stop you if we do not . 
think it is desirable that you should go on ? I 
cannot put my eye upon it here at the moment. 

Lord Shand. 

585. Is that a difEerent book to the one you 
have handed in ? Yes. This is a previous book. 


586. I can hand you your statement, and j'ou 
can read it from there ? Mr. J. T. Milton, Cnief 
Engineer Surveyor to Lloyd's Register, said: 
" One important point to remember was that the 
work now required of a cargo steamer is vastly 
difEerent to what it was ten or fifteen years ago. 
The conditions of trade were now such that very- 
many steamers made long voyages in ballast. 
Modern steamers were larger, fuller, and lighter 
than the old ships ; and steamers nowi went on 
Atlantic and other long voyages with propellers 
half out of water. Out of 89 shaft casualties. He 
found 26 stated to be in ballast, etc. Whilst 
there were, therefore, a number of the accidents 
occurring with the vesvsels actually in ballast, in 
a number of the others the damage might have 
been commenced in ballast on a previous voyage, 
and finished when coming home loaded. He 
thought the question of ballast had a great deal 
to do with the question of damage." 

587. Do you agree with that ? Yes. 

588. I do not know whether it is worth reading 
a quantity of extracts like this ; it is not direct 
evidence. Then there is an opinion given here 
I do not know what you say to that : " If ship- 
owners could always arrange to run their ships 
loaded, or if shipowners could arrange to double - 
or treble the quantity of water ballast, the pro- 
blem might be to some extent solved " ? I con- 
cur with that. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

589. Who are you quoting that from ? 


590. Mr. Hugo MacColl I am merely picking 
out this from the evidence. (To the Witness.) 
You concur with that opinion, do you ? Yes. 

591. Then there is the opinion also of Mr. 
Heck, Lloyd's Head Engineer on the Tyne. Do 
you wish that opinion read ? Yes. 

592. " The main cause is, that vessels are sent 
away in a light condition. Many vessels are sent 
away with the propeller blades entirely out of 
water, and go across the Atlantic and the Bay of 
Biscay. To allow these vessels to do so simply 
means destruction ; it is only a matter of time ; I 
know that shipowners, if they were only told 
what was the right thing to do, will do it, etc. 



10 March 1903.] 

Mr. Chaston. 


Chairman continued. 

Recommend them to ballast their ships pro- 
perly " ? Yes, my Lord, I agree, with that. 

593. I do not know that we need have any 
more of this. Then you attach a good deal of 
importance to a paper you read on the " BaUast- 
ing of Modern Tramp Steamers " ? Yes. 

594. You have given us that, have you? Yes. 

595. What was there about " two steamers " on 
the night on which the paper was read? It was 
unquestionably want of sufficient ballast. 

596. What happened to these two vessels? 
They became stranded one became a total loss. 

597. Where? One was on the beach near 
Hartlepool, and the other was somewhere north 
of the Humber. 

598. One is a friend of ours ; I think we have 
had it already the " Sylviana " ? The " Syl- 
niana" was the one that stranded near Redcar. 

Lord Muskerry. 

599. They were lost for want of sufficient bal- 
last? Oh, yes, unquestionably. 


(iOO. ^ow, have you got any evidence here 
as to the number of tramp steamers of a certain 
tonnage that when in ballast had accidents ; 
can you give any evidence about that? None 
bevond what I have had under my own super- 

fiOl. This is, I think, what you see in a ship- 
ping paper, " The Syren " ? I am always down, 
about coasting and Bristol Channel ports, and I 
have been there when vessels have broken down 
and had to run back, after being 17 or 18 days 
in the Western or North Atlantic Ocean. 

G02. You know this particular case. We 
rather wanted to get some figures as to the num- 
ber of accidents, and so on, that happened in 
consequence of ships being without sufficient 
ballast ; I do not know whether you know this. 
You say: "In looking thro\igh the .shipping 

paper ' Syren ' " ? Yes ; I should take the 

most of that as true. 

003. But you do not know it of your own 
knowledge? I coiild locate some of the boats 
when reading ; I knew some of the boats I 
knew their history. 

004. " I find no less than 27 tramp steamers, 
of an aggregate gross ton register of 59,871 tons, 
have when in ballast broken 10 tail end shafts, 
2 crank shafts, 2 thrut shafts, 6 tunnel or in- 
termediate .shafts, and lost 9 propellers. Three 
of these 27 vessels were towed into port." Do 
you know that yourself? I have read of them 
and traced them, and I take that as perfectly 

'105. Do you attribute these losses to want of 
ballast ? Yes, to the want of sufficient ballast. 

OOG. Then you surveyed the shafting of two 
steamers recently; what were they? One was 
the " Jupiter," that was a vessel that left Durban 
for the Tyne in ballast, and the draughts are 
given there (which are practically absurd], and 
the owner of that " Jupiter " is now building a 
steamer at the present day, and ballasting the 
ship to my idea,s of what the ballasting ought 
to be. 

Lord Muskerry. 

007. He is sufficiently ballasting ? Yes, a new 


G08. What happenecTto this first vessel, the 
5,500 ton vessel ; what has happened to her? 
When she arrived here the propeller was all 
loose, with the key broken and the shafts badly 
chewed up, so much so that we had to condemn 
it. Its life was not worth another 500 miles. 

609. What was the other vessel? The other 
vessel was the " Vulcan," boiind to the West, 
insufficiently ballasted. I assume that she had 
developed the fracture on the outward passage, 
but actually broke her shaft on the homeward 

010. Where? Just at the large part of the' 
propeller shaft. 

611. But where was the propeller lost? 
About three days to the west of the Azores. 

612. Mid-Atlantic ? Yes. 

613. And could you clearly trace the fracture 
of this shaft? Yes, to the want of sufficient 

614. You examined that ship ? I examined 
it and fitted a new shaft. 

615. Do you find that owners now require 
different stipulations to what they did with 
regard to water ballast capacity ? The general 
feeling is clear. The ship yards now are in such 
a state that most of the builders are thinking 
ot putting down steamers and building them 
speculatively. Two gentlemen wrote mo 
Mr. Lithgow of Russell & Co., of Glasgow, wrote 
and asked me for my opinion as to now much 
ballast he ought to put in the ships, and the 
other gentleman was Mr. Pattison of Osboume 

616. They stipulate now for more water ballast 
than they aid, can you give any figures about 
it ? They are doing it now.. 

617. Will you give the figures ? Now the 
limit is about one-third of the dead weight, 
that is, if the vessel's dead weight was 6,000 
tons they would try to bring the ballast up to 
about 2,000 tons; and that is the feeling in 
Lloyds as well. I was in Lloyds' Newcastle office 
yesterday morning and got some notes from 
Lloyds ; Lloyds' surveyors have been getting 
notes from me. 

618. As to the larger quantities that they 
stipulate for than they used to ? Yes, very 
nearly 50 per cent. 40 per cent, at least. You 
will see the figures there, I think. No, it is 
about 1,800 tons as against a thousand tons 
their recent practice. 

619. Now, what is your opinion as to the 
remedy for the under-ballasting ; are you in 
favour of a light load line ? No ; the whole 
question could be left in the hands of the under- 
writers alone. 

620. You know we have not read your pamph- 
let ; whether we are going to read it I do not 
know ? I was just taking the insurance value. 
We are now reduced two guineas per cent, in the 
underwriter's premiums; where before we paid 
eight guineas we now pay six guineas, and that 
means to my firm a savmg of about 480i. per per annum in insurance rates, or at 
present a gross saving of 4,3i;0i. per annum. 

Lord Muiikervy. 

6f?l. Tliat is only because you have got more 
ballast, is it ? Yes ; but not necessarily it is 




10 March 1903.] 

Mr. Chaston. 


Lord MuskeiTy continued. 

because we have taken such care of our ships, 
and have ballasted our ships; we never send 
them to the west unless with the quantities of 
ballast stated in that pamphlet. We have put 
750 in one ; in the next 800, in the next 850, 
according to the lateness of the season. 


622. Then your remedy would be with the 
underwriters, not with legislation ? Yes ; it is 
purely a question of underwriters Lloyds and 
the shipowners ; because no one is more badly 
hit than the shipowner. No. 

623. Then you are opposed to having a light 
load line; have you any reason why you are 
opposed to it ? >1 o. The only reason I would 
be opposed to it would be that it would knock a 
lot of steamers practically obsolete, suddenly; 
that is all and would unnecessarily hamper the 
shipowner. The thing will rectify itself within 
the next three years. 

624. Would you bring any pressure to bear 
upon the underwriters about insurance ? No ; 
the underwriters should put the pressure on the 
shipowner by premium. 

625. Why have not they done it before if there 
has been a danger ? I do not know. 

626. What would be the change of circum- 
stances that would make them do it now ? Well 
now, they see everybody following the thing up 
as it were. The underwriters have not had the 
expert advice that they should have had. 

627. Have they had to pay for more accidents ? 
I should think they have to pay for seven- 
eightlis of the accidents. 

628. More accidents than there used to be ? 
Yes. Where they do not pay when there is an 
accident is when the claim does not come up to 
8 per cent, of the insurance value of hull or 

Lord Muskerry. 

629. You mean, do you not, that seven-eighths 
of the accidents are due to under-ballasting ? 
No ; the underwriters pay in the case of seven- 
eighths of the accidents that happen to the 
vessels under any circumstances. 


630. They have always had to pay ? Unques- 

631. I suppose under-ballasting has been 
always a fault rather, has it not ? They have 
always paid on damage; they have to pay to 
make good the defects of the damage ; then it 
was left to themselves to find out what caused 
the damage. 

632. Then has there been a great increase of 
charges to underwriters in consequence of ships 
coming to grief through not having sufficient 
ballast ? Yes. 

633. How do you know that ? I know from 
what you may call my daily work, seeing the 
accidents, seeing the cause of them ; and seeing 
the claims made and seeing the claims made 

634. Do you think that has been increasing 
lately ? Not lately. Tliere was a very sad 
condition of affairs in 1898, 1899 and 1900, but 
this last two years we are getting back to what 
things were about eight years ago 

Chairman continued. 

635. What things were eight years ago was 
it more unsatisfactory or less unsatisfactory then ? 
More satisfactory than to-day. 

636. More satisfactory ? Yes. 

687. Then there has been an increase ia 
accidents ? Yes. 

638. Can yon prove that ? Yes, I can prove 

639. I do not think there is anything else as 
far as I can see on your paper that I need put to 
you. Your employer is Mr, Lockie, Member for 
Devonport, is not he ? Yes. 

640. What is he doing now ? He is so well 
satisfied with the value ofballast that we are now 
increasing the ballsist from 1,000 tons to 1,800' 

641. I see this is in your paper ; I had not got 
to that ; I see you do say how the underwriters 
ought to act with regard to insurance policies ; 
they should insert a warranty is that so ? 

642. A warranty that the ship insured shall 
not be sent to sea without a certain quantity of ' 
ballast is that so ? Yes. 

643. And that that should be, one-third of the 
dead weight capacity ? Yes. 

644. That is the remedy you would like to 
see ? Yes. 

645. Would you leave it to them to do it ? 

646. What motive power is there now more 
than there was in former days to operate upon 
them ? What is there to induce them to do it 
now more than it was a few years ago ? You see 
we have altered the type of ship. At the present 
day we get the biggest possible ship with the 
least possible measurement; 10 years ago we had a 
decent model, she had finer lines and a co-efficient 
of about '75. Then about 10 years ago a very big 
tramp steamer did not carry more than 4,000 
tons ; now a tramp steamer carries anything 
firom 4,000 to 10,000 tons. 

647. There are some letters here ; these letters 
are from masters, are they ? Yes. 

648. The " Vulcan," the " Venus," and .so on ? 
Yes ; they are steamers under my supervision. 
They are all admittedly under-ballasted, but we 
always ballast them whenever we can get sand 

649. Then why are they under-ballasted; as 
you and your employer think it so necessary to 
have sufficient ballast, why are these vessels 
under-ballasted ? The " Venus " and " Vulcan " 
and the " Apollo " are all speculative ships built 
during the last " depression," and built to the 
builders' ideas of what a ship ought to be. 

650. I hardly under3t;ind what the meaning 
of the words " speculative ship " is ? To-day they 
are building speculative ships. If a shipbuilder 
cannot get an order, rather than lay his yard 
in he builds a steamer on spec, and as soon as 
he lays the steamer down he puts her into the 
market and sells her to anyone, so that the 
purchaser must just take the vessel as she is. 

651. Why should the speculative ship be built 
with insufficient means of ballasting ; I suppose 
that would under value her ? It is a question of 
cost in the building of the ship. 

652. I do not know whether these letters are 
worth putting in ; they may be put in if you 




10 March 1903.] 

Mr. Chaston. 


Chairvian continued. 

think they are? Yes; you can please yourself; 
they are statements of fact. 

Lord Wolverton. 

653. I have just been casually looking at your 
paper and I find you use these words : " Since 
reading my paper I notice that this question of 
ballast is receiving more attention from ship- 
owners and their advisers ; I therefore hope and 
expect that Lord Muskerry's under -load line mil 
not be necessary ? That is right. 

654. You use thoeo words. I suppose you 
mean by that, that owing to the action of Lord 
Muskerry in this matter, increased attention is 
called to this subject, and that masters and 
owners are now more careful about ballasting 
their ships ? Yes. 

655. And that in your opinion this state of 
under-ballasting is not so prevalent as it was ? 
Not by any means. 

656. Not by any means, owing to the attention 
that has been drawn to the subject by Lord 
Muskerry ? Yes. I may tell you for your in- 
formation that Mr. Thearle, one of Lloyd's 
Surveyor's in London, is now preparing a Paper 
to reacl before the Institute of Naval Architects. 
Mr. Phillips, the head Surveyor at Newcastle, 
told me ihis on Monday. 

Lord Shand. 

057. I want to ask what you meant by sapng 
that it would " rectify itself " in some years. 
You said the evil would rectify itself in some 
years what do you mean by that ? I mean 
this that if I am at a lower insurance premium 
and paying five guineas or six guineas per cent, 
and you tor a tramp steamer are paying eight, 
or nine guineas per cent, due to tne way you 
manage your vessel, it means that I can carry at 
lower rates than you, and your ship not being 
ballasted as she ought to be you are taking ten 
days to do eight days' work while I am doing 
eight days' work in the eight days; consequently 
I am knocking you out as a competitor, and you 
must succumb to my ideas of a snip or knock off 

658. TTien do I understand that the Marine 
Insurances Companies or under- writers charge 
a higher rate upon one class of vessel than upon 
anotner, in reference to this matter of ballast- 
ing ? No, they base their rates of premiums 
on the claims that the owners send in against 

059. a man is arranging his policy, 
he has to nx his rates before they know what is 
going to hapjjen ; do the Insurance Company 
charge differerent rates for difi'erent classes of 
vessels in respect of this matter of ballast ? 
They have not done so as yet, but they will 
do so. 

060. Is it your opinion that that will happen ? 

061. In the meantime the rates remain 
unaltered ? They remain unaltered, but the 
damage is the same ; never mind under ballast- 
ing, it relates to damage of any sort. Every ship 
owner has a history in the underwriters' books, 
and if his history is good ho gets the best jpossiblc 
terms; if his hi.story is bad they just play him 
at his own game and raise his premiums accord- 


Lord Shand continued. 


Then if there is no raising of the rates 
in that way, is there any stipulation in any of 
the polices that are now entered into in regard 
to ballast ? Not at the present day. 

663. That is left quite loose ? Yes, it is quite 
loose. It is assumed that you send your ship to 
sea in a seaworthy condition -it is assumed by 
the underwriters. 

064. In so far as your liners are concerned it 
is quite clear that so much care is taken that 
there is safety to life in these cases ? Yes. 

665. In the case of the tramp ships, do you 
think there is safety for life at present ? Yes. 

606. I mean that there are sufficient safe- 
guards ? Yes, from a life risk point of view. 

667. "Life risk," what exactly does that 
mean ? If a number of vessels are now much 
too light for rough weather, is not that an 
enormous risk for the seamen ? It is a risk, but 
not necessarily " enormous." 

668. Not necessarily fatal either, but it is 
risky you say. Do you think it is a trifling risk 
to send a ship to sea under-ballasted, very light 
in the water, going a long voyage and subject to 
the risk of bad weather ? Yes. 

609. Is that a light risk, do you say ? Well, 
from a steamer point of view ; we do not know 
of any loss of lite ; I am just dealing with the 

670. And only with large steamships appar- 
ently ? No, with steamships of any tonnage 
from 2,000 to 8,000 tons. 

671. Even 2,000 is a large tonnage, is it 
not ? Not at the present day. 

672. I do not quite follow you in saying that 
there is a very trifling risk in regard to these 
cases ? Well, we do not look upon it as an 
" enormous " risk. The risk to life is so little to 
our own minds that we have never thought 
about it, I dot not exactly mean that we have 
" never thought about it." 

Lord Muskerry. 

673. You mean from an engineer's point of 
view ? I know in the ten years' I have been 
superintendant we have never lost a man under 
any circumstances ; we have never had au acci- 
dent to any men. 

Lord Shand. 

674. I suppose you are extremely careful about 
this matter of ballasting. Do your vessels run 
at all in ballast? We had a vessel which left 
Greenock five weeks ago, which, when all that 
bad weather was about and when other ships 
were running back to anchor at the tail of the 
Bank, made her passage down to Cardiff easily ; 
we had the " Hercules," which is now in the 
East India Dock, she left also in the recent bad 
weather and made a splendid passage across to 

075. I suppose you consider these properly 
ballasted ? Thev are ; they are the modern bal- 
lasted steamer, the specially ballasted steamer. 

Lord Inverclyde. 
G70. You think fhat in the case of a prood 
many vessels that have had their shaftmg 
broken, it has arisen from under-ballasting? 


T? 677. 



10 March 1903.] 



Lord Inverclyde continued. 

077. What is the proportion of vessels whose 
shafts have broken from under-ballasting com- 
pared with vessels whose shafts have broken 
owing to cargo P I should reckon the machinery 
figure is about 85 per cent. 

078. From under-ballasting? ^Yes. 

" 679. Can you give ua figures pro^'ing that? 
Not now. I think that Paper would keep 
you about right ; and this one, if you care to 
have it. 

080. Over what period of time is that P This 
would be from March, 1899, up till about, per- 
haps, 15 months ago, or perhaps 12 months ago. 
That would be over a period of about four to five 

081. You think that these breakdowns are de- 
creasing now? They are decreasing now; un- 
questionably decreasing. 

682. So that you think the evil is going to 
right itself before long? Anyone that has 
watched the subject will have seen a decided 
improvement in the last 15 months. 

683. Has not that improvement come about 
very much because both shipowners and ship- 
builders have learned that the class of ship 
coming into use lately has required different 
methods of construction? Yes; the superin- 
teadents have found it out, because wherever 
thjre is au accident it causes a reflection upon 
the superintendent, whether he is to blame or 
not ; there is a certain amount of reflection cast 
upon him, and consequently he reduces' all risks 
to a minimum unless his goveronr (the ship- 
owner) says distinctly, " "We will not spend this " 
and " we will not spend that." 

684. You are pretty well satisfied in your own 
mind that things are going on properly? Un- 

085. You do not think legislation is required 
just now? Not at present. 

Lord Brassey. 

(jSO. I have been looking through your pam- 

?hlet, and do I not rightly infer that in your 
'aper you insisted on the desirability of proper 
ballasting chiefly on the ground that when pro- 
per water-ballast machinery was employed the 
danger to steamers would be below the loss of 
a profitable charter; in fact, you advocated it 
in the interest of the shipowner himself? Yes. 
687. You urged tTiat it was a mistake on his 
part in his own interest to neglect the ballast- 
ing of his ship ; that was the drift of your argu- 
ment? Yes, that is quite correct. 

088. And, in point of fact, I do not see any 
allusion in your pamphlet to specific cases, or to 
any case in which a loss of life had occurred under 
your own immediate observation ? No ; I do not 
know of any of my own observation. I only 
know of life being jeopardised like it was on that 
night of the 12th, when those two vessels went 
asnore. It was quite possible (o:^ course, there 
was a big element of risk) that someone would 
have been drowned, but, as a matter of fact, no- 
body was drowned. 

089. Your argument was rather directed to the 
interest of the shipowner, and you have not had 
reason to take notice of the very serious loss of 
]'*e from this cause ? No, because I do not know 
oi any 

Lord Musketry. 

690. You said that now they were taking 40 
per cent, more ballast, that, in fact, where you 
used to carry 1,000 tons, now 1,800 tons were 
being carried? ^Yes. 

691. Therefore, you agree that there has been 
a great want of sufficient ballast? There is no 
question about it ; it is clearly stated there. 

092. Then you think now that this will be 
sufficient ballast, and, at the same time, you say 
there is no need for legislation. If eitlier the 
underwriters, or wherever the pressure comes 
from, make you carry sufficient ballsist, wha<> does 
it matter if you have a line marked outside. That 
is all that legislation is going to do. Would not 
that be a most valuable guide to you ? Yes. 

693. Would it not prevent fraud in many cases 
in taking in ballast ? Yes. 

094. Then it would be a vaJuable thing? It 
would ; but this is th point ; I should think my- 
self that about 70 i)er cent, of the shipowners 
are fully alive to the fact of the necessity of bal- 
lasting, and these 70 per cent, would feel rather 
badly hit if there was legislation to put the other 
30 per cent, into line. 

695. " To put the other 30 per cent, into line " ? 
The other 30 per cent. 

696. How do you mean? I do not quite un- 
derstand you. Do you mean that because the 30 
per cent., who have no regard to this question ? 
I do not state " 30 per cent," as a fact ; but I 
say, " assume 30 per cent " ; then I say the busi- 
ness habits of the underwriters, through pre- 
miums, would soon crush these 30 per cent, to 
the wall, from a competition point of view; I 
should think so. 

697. But I do not see how that affects in any 
way the proposal to have the line marked out- 
side ; you have acknowledged that it would be a 
good thing? You see this is the point: The 
steamers that have been put on the market the 
last nine years (dealing with the tramp) are ves- 
sels of 5,000 to 7,000 tons capacity ; if you pass a 
bill on the basis of that letter, that one-third of 
the total dead weight should be the ballast, what 
are yovL going to do with the single-decked vessels 
that are now knocking about? 

698. Surely! They are acknowledged to be 
dangerous when sent to sea light, and, you say, 
do not legislate for those ; let those go on? No, 
I do not say let the thing still go on ; the thing 
is dying a natural death now. 

699. Then, in your opinion, this proposed legis- 
lation would simply hurry it on. It would mean 
sudden death if the legislation took place, but 
you think it better that it should have a lingering 
death? I think myself that we ex])ei-ts can deal 
with it. 

Lord Shand. 

700. May I just ask this one question : Has 
your employment been entirely by owners 
hitherto ? Your sympathies are very much with 
owners, apparently? No, not necessarily; 1 
have a duty to all men. , r. qa 

701. Why do you not sympathise with the oO 
per cent, of vessels sent to sea under-loaded with 
a number of seamen on board? Well, I will tell 
you why, my Lord ; taking these vessels I was 
talking about, built these last nine years, they 
will never be sent to the west; they will never 




10 March 1903.] 

Mr. Chaston. 


Lord Shand continued. 

be sent on long passages insufficiently ballasted ; 
they will get the sand ballast. But suppose a 
vessel is discharged at Hamburg, and she only 
carries 1,000 tons of water ballast, although it is 
admitted that 1,800 tons would be better for her, 
it would be verj- hard on the shipowner for the 
law to say : " Well, this ship is going (say) from 
Hamburg to Cardiff, and you must put 800 tons 
more of sand ballast on board." The shipowner 
woidd turn round and say : " Well, I cannot 
afford it ; it is fine weather now it is August, 
June, or July." 

702. Then it is a question between the ship- 
owner's profit and the seamana life, apparently? 
Xo, voii do not jeopardise life in the above case. 

703. The ship ought to have a much larger 
quantity of tonnage on board, and the owner puts 
a smaller quantity on board ; is not that jeopar- 
dising life ? He is not able to do it now. 

70i. You told us there were 30 per cent, still 
doing it? Might do it. 

705. I thought you said that, according to your 
estimate, that was the number that are not at- 
tending to this. However, I have no more To 
say, if you have nothing more to explain about 
it ? I did not intend to state 30 per cent, as an 
actual act, but rather my opinion. 

Lord Wolverton. 

706. I only want to clear up that one point. 
I think you were taking 100 per cent., then you 
mentioned 70 per cent., and 30 per cent. ; I think 
you only mentioned those figures just as an in- 
dication ; you did not mean to fix in our minds in 
any way that 70 per cent, of the vessels in a cer- 
tain trade, or of the trade of England, go to sea 
properly ballasted, and that 30 per cent, go to sea 
improperly ballasted ; I do not think you meant 
us to draw that conclusion, did you? ^I do not 
think so. 

707. You told us that 70 per cent., or, rather, 
the Committee understood you to state 70 per 

Lord Wolverton continued, 
cent. of the ships that went to sea went to sea 
properly ballasted, and that the other 30 per 
cent, went to sea improperly ballasted. I do not 
think you meant us to take that impression from 
you, did you ? No. 

708. ll'ou meant that some ships went to sea 
improperly ballasted, and that some went to sea 
properlv ballasted ? ^Yes. 

709. You thought the majority were properly 
ballasted, but that there was a certain small 
residue improperly ballasted. Is that what you 
meant to imply ? No ; I said unquestionably 
70 per cent, ot the ship owners properly ballasted 
their ships and that it is probable that the other 
30 per cent, of the shipowners were quite in- 
different as to how the ships went to sea. That 
is what I meant. 

710. Now let us get that right; 70 per cent, of 
the shipowners were very particular, in fact, how 
their snips went to sea, and 30 per cent, were not 
so particular ; is that it now ? I would not say 
they were not particular, but that was the drift : 
that is my own impression. 

711. You do not attach much importance to- 
those figures, do you. I mean to say, you cannot 
say that 70 per cent, are careful, and 30 per cent, 
indifferent, can you ? That is only a way of 
talking ? I was just discussing that ; I was not 
giving that as a tact ; I only said " probably." 

712. You mentioned those figures ? I was just 
discussing the probabilities. 

713. Am I to take it from you that we are to 
pin you to those figures. You do not mean to 
say that those are the actual figures ? Not by 
any means. 

714. They are what yon think might be the 
figures ? Well, I should not like to say. 


715. That is your opinion approximately ? I 
could not approximate them any nearer unless I 
made it 75 and 25. I might say 75 and 25. 

716. Is there anything else you wish to say ? 
No, my Lord, nothing else. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 

Adjourned for a short time. 

Mr. DAVID CLEMENT is called in ; and examined, as follows : 


717. What are you ? I am Secretary to the 
National Seamen's Federated Union. 

718. Have vou been at sea yourself? Yes. 

719. In what capacity ? bailor, boatswain 
and second mate. 

720. What do you want to state. What have 
you to tell the Committee ? I believe the ques- 
tion is to try to see if there is a possibility of 
having a ligHt load line fixed on the ships, and I 
believe that is what is required. The first vessel 
that I took observations of was the "John 
Adumson " of Sunderland : we went from Alex- 
andria up to the Black Sea ; we discharged all 


Chairman continued. 

our cargo at Alexandria, went to Constantinople 
for orders, from there we proceeded to Odessa 
and on the way up we fell in with a severe gale 
and we was knocked about considerably. The 
men that had the work to do (the sailors) were 
greatly hampered in their work, the way the 
vessel was knocking about. There was nothing, 
only the water ballast, in that particular ship ; 
however, there were no casualties only we felt 
relieved when we got into harbour in that par- 
ticular ship. 

721. How about the ballasting. Who had 
arranged the ballasting ? There was no ballast- 

f2 ing 



10 March 1903. J 

Jlr. Clement. 


Chairman contiuued. 

ing at all, only what was in the tanks ; we were 
a clean ship clean swept from Alexandria up. 

722. But there was water ballast ? Yes, but 
the water ballast is simply put into the vessels 
to give them some stability for going along the 
coast or anything like that : they are not to my 
mind meant for a passage like that. 

723. You, I suppose, as master, could have 
asked to take in more ballast before you left 
Alexandria ? I was not master ; I was only an 
able seaman in her. 

724. The master might have done so? The 
master might have done so, but he did not so ; 
we was clean swept from Alexandria up. 

725. She did not behave well in the storm, in 
the bad sea ? No, she did not. If the breeze 
had lasted much longer I have not the least 
doubt we would have gone iishore. 

726. When was that ? That was in 1875. 

727. Was she an old ship ? No, she was not 
very old at that time ; she belonged to Sunder- 

728. Have you any other case to give us ? 
Yes. The next vessel that I came in contact 
with was the "Finsbury." We had ballast in 
her besides the water ballast, but unfortunately 
we had to discharge that over-board before we 
landed at Baltimore. 

729. Why had you to do that ? As far as I 
understand, the owners give the masters orders 
that they must have a clean swept hold before 
they arrive in port. 

730. When did you have to throw your ballast ' 
over ? On the passage out. 

731. What was that passage ? All the way 

732. Where did you start from ? I think we 
would be about seven days out when we started. 

733. From what port did you start ? We left 
the Tyne here. 

734. Where for? Baltimore. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

735. What year was this ? That was in 1884 
at least, 1884 rather. 


736. You were in ballast then ? Yes. 

737. And when you were seven days out you 
<iid what ? Started to heave the coal overboard. 

738. I suppose you were in quiet weather 
then ? Yes, moderately, but of course we had 
two or three breezes on the way, and had to 
knock otf once or twice. 

739. Then what happened after youhad thrown 
over your ballast ? ^Two days before we got in 
we were clean swept, and we fell in with a breeze 
of wind off the land ; we were considerably 
knocked about, and had to unshackle our chains 
from the anchors and pay them out, and to try 
.and stay her from drivmg and losing the ground 
shi) had gained. 

740. Had the ship become unmanageable 
then ? She practically would not steer ; she was 
just hanging on her cables and we had a con- 
siderable job to get the cables paid out. After 
you unshake them from the anchor there is no 
weight to run the chain out, so you have to get 
messengers on and draw them forward until 
they get over the weight. 

Chairman continued. 

741. Then you started with sufficient ballast ? 
Oh yes ; we were quite .satisfied when we went 
away with the ballast tliat we had. We had 
500 tons over and above tlu- water ballast. 

Lord Hhand. 

742. What was the ballast, may I interpose to 
ask ? Coal. 

743. Did you throw overboard coals ? Yas 
we hove 500 tons overboard. 


744. Then you advocate the light load line, 
do not you ? Yes I do, pure and simple. 

745. How would the light load line have 
helped you there, because you say you were all 
right on starting, but that you threw away the 
ballast after you had been at sea some days ? 
Yes. It wt)uld affect us in this way : I under- 
stand that under our present Plim.soll mark, 
after you have made the voyage, if you are over- 
submerged there is a penalty. The same thing 
would apply, I expect, if the light load line was 
adopted ; it would act in the same wa}" if she 
was too light when you arrived at the other end 
and your ballast was all out. 

746. At Baltimore ? Yes. 

747. Should we have had inspectors there, or 
how would it have been found out ? I do not 
know haw that might be arrangcn. When you 
were making a Light Load Line Bill of course 
that might be a stipulation you would put in. 

748. Have you any other case you want to 
speak about? Yes. That vessel was 1884; the 
next one I am talking about will be in 1885 
the " Lionel." We discharged all our cargo in the 
port of Vendres, up the Jloditerranean ; we dis- 
charged oiu- cargo there and were to go to Arizu 
to load salt, and she was one of those vessels 
that had been built upon she was lengthened 
at one time; she was just like a bladder when 
she was outside ; it was blowing very hard that 
day when the master would have us to get her 
to sea ; it was blowing so that we had to heave 
her up to windward with two hawsers one 
ahead and one astern right head \m to wind- 
ward one of which carried away. ' The master 
ordered full speed ahead with the result that he 
was not able to get out of the Heads ; she swung 
round ; he had to let go an anchor then and she 
touched something we conld not tell whether 
it was rocks or Avhat it was for the time being ; 
nevertheless when that was done he would have 
her up to windward again, and the pilot got so 
frightened that he left a Frenchman 

749. Who was so frightened ? The pilot ; he 
would not have anything more to do with her ; 
the master would be out with the result that he 
hove her as far up again a.s he possibly could 
with full steam ahead, and we had to leave our 
stern hawser behind ; we were not able to get it 
in, and we just barely got outside. When we 
got down to Arizu we remonstrated with the 
master; we said she had tou(;hed something 
when we were coming out of there ; he denied 
it, and the result was that we turned to and 
started to load the salt. One morning I think 
it was the second morning after we had 
started we had about 700 tons of salt in ; 
we were all awakened by a crying out 




10 March 1908.] 

Mr. Clement. 


Chairman continued. 

that the vessel was sinking, and in the 
afterhold we found about nine inches of 
water on top of the hold, the salt commencing 
to melt. We had to ascertain where the hole was 
and we found it right away in the after well. I 
was firing the vessel that voyage and I was in 
the tunnel along with the engineer when we saw 
daylight shining in underneath the water into 
this aftrwcll, and we put what they call boards, 
that you walk along into the tunnels on a species 
of square timber about three inches square 
that they rest upon, and are loose : it took two 
of them to fill up the hole for the time being. 
Of course we stopped taking in any more cargo 
the master was away to some place he went 
away early that morning but however the mate 
took it upon himself not to take any more cargo 
in until tlie master arrived. All that was done 
in that case was that there was a diver there, a 
Spanish diver ; we got him to put two plates just 
the size of the hole one inside and one out. He 
went down and it was only a 5-8th bolt that was 
put on there with some cement ; that was all 
the patching that was done. 

750. You had a hole knocked in the bottom 
of the ship in harbour ? We were coming out. 

751. Coming out I mean ; all that might 
have happened whether the ship had had full 
ballast or not ? If-she had had nill ballast she 
would have gone straight out ; if she had had 
sufficient ballast that would not have happened. 

Lord Brassey. 

752. What date what was the year when this 
occurred ? That was in 1885. 

Lord Muskerry, 

753. 1885 or 1895 ? 1885. 


754. tLave you got any other case you want to 
bring before us ? The other cases are practically 
reports that I have had in from members of our 
association. It used to be the case, at one time, 
that they put the ballast down below (what 
ballast they did put in), but of recent years, to 
save time, and make it handy for getting it over- 
board, they carried it on the after deck ; it is 
much easier got overboard then than what it was 
formerly. Then, in that case, when they fall in 
with a breeze of wind, sometimes they broach-to 
seas come aboard and wash this ballast all 
over, and one of our members, T remember ^I do 
not remember the ship that it happened in) told 
me that this ballast in the after deck, when the 
sea came over, sent the whole lot of it down into 
the engine-room, with the result that the engines 
became unmanageable for a considerable time, 
and that they were practically at the mercy of 
the elements for some time ; but it is a common 
thing for all of them, when going across there, 
to land at the other side with no oallast in them 
at all ; it is hove out on the way out, and I think 
if a Light Load Line Bill could be put in force, to 
prevent the like of that, it would be a great 
.saving of life and limb. 

755. How many men belong to your union ? 
We had 500 when I made up my last returns. 

75f). Are they masters ? No, all seamen. 

Chairinan continued. 

sailors, firemen, cooks, and stewards and such 

757. You know their views very much ? Yes, 
I have been Secretary for the various Unions 
now from 1888, at least 1889, when I became 
Secretary first to the National Amalgamated 
Sailors' and Firemen's Union, South Shields 

758. Then you belong to other unions besides 
National Federation ? ^Yes, it changed its name 
in 1894 from the Amalgamated to the National ; 
and in 1901, 1 had, along with the other members, 
to sever our connection with the National Sea- 
men's Union and to form ourselves into the 
National Federated Seamen's Union. 

759. Do you represent their views with respect 
to a light load line ? Yes, and when I have 
talked to the men about the load line they are 
only too anxious that something should be done 
in that respect. 

760. In their opinion they are often put to 
some risk by being sent to sea without sufficient 
ballast ? Yes ; there is a case that occurred on 
one particular occasion on the coast. In that 
case they had to unshackle the chain again, both 
cables, and pay them out, and doing so they had 
to lie flat on the deck the way the wind was 
blowing and at great labour they had to get a 
messenger forward to heave the cable out ; she 
rolled, so much so, that her funnel went 
overboard and one of the men fell oif the 
forecestle deck with the result that he frac- 
tured his ribs and had to leave the vessel 
for two or three trips. That is a common thing 
with the men both on deck and below through 
the ship heaving and tossing ; they get injuries 
which the general public know nothing at all 
about, and they are of opinion that if something 
in this line were done it would be greatly to their 

761. Have you anything else you wish to tell 
the Committee? No, that is the principal thing, 
only there are a lot of diiferent vessels that I could 
name that have been reported from the men, but 
that is the general run of them ; and in fact I 
may say that on the coast there is not one vessel 
not one coaster (collier) that would be able to 
steam off a lee shore if they were falling in with 
a gale of wind. 

762. When they are in ballast ? When they 
are in ballast. 

763. I suppose some have sufficient ballast ? 
There is a third vessel ; there is the " Twizell " ; 
she is comparatively a new vessel ; it was only 
last November she had the same thing to do 
unshackle her cables in the North Sea ; she lost 
one of them : the men were greatly put about 
about that. Then again, down in the engine- 
aoom the firemen complain of the difficulty of 
attending to the fires; when the vessel is like 
that they get sadly knocked about water gets 
on to the stokehole plates and mixes up amongst 
the coal ; the engineer wants steam up and can- 
not get it for the want of coals, and it makes 
their lives very miserable. 

764. You are aware, 1 suppose, that under the 
Merchant Shipping Act there are clauses which 
say that the Board of Trade have power to de- 
tain a ship if she is not in a safe state to go to 

sea ? 



10 March 1903 ] 

Mr. Clement. 


Chairman continued, 
sea ? But you see men do not know until she is 
gone ; there is nothing to indicate whether she 
is safe or not so far as ballast is concerned. 

765. If she was detained they would find 
that out ? Yes ; but there is nothing to indicate 
that they have been detained in that respect. 

766. And if they saw this light loud line you 
think they would themselves be able to judge ? 
The crew them.selves would feel a little more 
comfortable, because they could remonstrate with 
the master then ; and I know myself there are a 
lot of the masters themselves who would only be 
too glad if something was done in the matter, 
because they have get to put up with the bad 
weather and knocking about, just practically to 
a certain extent the same as the men. 

767. You have nothing else to add ? No. 

Lord Muskerry. 

768. As a practical seaman, do not you know 
that it is a very dangerous thing to send these 
ships to sea in an under-ballasted condition ? 
Yes, it is very dangerous. 

769. Do you think going along the coast there 
that any of these vessels (I will take the coasters 
alone now) for instance, would these colliers run- 
ning down empty have any chance of clewing off a 
lee shore in a strong breeze ? No, they could 
not do it 

770. If they went on shore the chances are 
that most of the hands would be lost ? They 
would all go with them. 

771. Now to come to one other thing. Am I 
right in saving that ships leave the Continent in 
water ballast, that water ballast being very 
insufficient; I mean going to CardifiF to load 
coals ? Yes. 

772. They supplement that with so many 
hundred tons of other ballast sand or shingle ? 
It is very seldom they do that going round to 
the Bristol Channel. 

773. Are not the orders given them that they 
shall come into port Avith clean swept holds ? 
I have had that report several times, that the 
OAvner has given the masters orders that they 
must have clean swept holds ready for loading. 

774. And when they get near Lundy they 
begin to heave over the ballast ? Yes. 

775. Then they have about 40 miles to run 
up and take the chance of its blowing or not ? 
But it is very seldom that they put the ballast 
into them. 

776. It is very seldom that they put the 
ballast into them, you say? Yes; they run 
chances with the water ballast. 

777. You said they took so much on deck, 
as I understood you ? Well, some of them do ; 
in the case of some of the vessels the companies 

Sou know that have some respect for life and 
mb do that, but in the majority of cases 
they run into Cardiff" with nothing only the 
water ballast. 

778. Yes, because they have hove overboard 
the other ? Yes. 

779. You know the feeling of seamen and 
firemen generally ? I do. 

780. Are they strongly in favour of this light 
load line ? They are very anxious ; they thmk 

Lord Munken-y continued. 

that something in that line ought to be intro- 
duced, I can assure you. 

Lord Braesey 

781. Is the practice of sending steamers to 
sea insufficiently ballasted in the case of trade 
on the east coa-st between the Thames and the 
Tyne ? They might load as a rule going from 
the Tvne to the Thames, but if they are going 
from here round to Cardiff sometimes thoy go 
from the Tyne to Cardiff" to load in that case 
(in lots of cases) they are there in insufficient 
ballast ; in fact the majority of them go with 
very little on deck ; ir, is oidy when they are 
going to the westward that they put any ballast 
mto them over and above their tanks. 

782. But, speaking of the steam collier going 
up from the Thames to the Tyne, in the oise of 
that class of vessel do you know many instances 
of insufficient ballasting ? The colliers going 
from the Thames. 

783. Going from the Thames back to the 
Tyne ? Yes, they have simply got sufficient 
ballast to keep them upright. 

784. Have there been many instances 
recent instances within vour actual knowledge 
in which vessels of that class have been driven 
ashore with attendant loss of life owing to their 
being insufficiently ballasted ? Well, I have 
not paid particular attention to that, but I 
know some. There is the " William Hunter " 
I believe she was one. 

785. When ? Two years ago or three years. 
She went at the back of the Head (Flam- 
borough Head). I think it was the " William 

786. Was there loss of life ? No, there was 
nobody lost. 

787. So in that particular trade in which it 
seems to be the practice to send the ships on 
their return voyage in ballast, so far as you 
know the loss of life from that cause has been 
small ? Well, I have never directed particular 
attention to that. 

788. You have no statistics to give us on that 
subject ? No, I have no statistics : ' I expect 
you would have all that in the Blue Book. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

789. Suppose there was a light load line, you 
have ships going away in the way you put, 
and, in one of your cases, with a large amount 
of ballaat in. addition to the water ballast, and ' 
you say that the master, when he gets a cer- 
tain way out to sea throws that ballast over- 
board ; how is it going to help the case having 
a light load line? That would not help the 
case, anyhow, unless you piit a stipulation into 
it that she had got to arrive in the same bal- 

790. You cannot do that if the steamer has 
to burn coal on the way across ? You caji allow 
for consumption. 

791. You do not know of many cases dealt 
with in the case of the deep load line in the 
wav you suggest? No, I am only surmising 
something might be done in that direction. 

792. You think it is possible? Yes, I think 




10 Afarch 1903.] 

Mr. Clement. 


Lord Inverclyde continued, 
it is possible, and in building vessels nowadays 
I dc not see why the builders could not manage 
to build the vessels so that they could arrange 
tanks that could be utilised for cargo as well 
as water in a case like that. Tou know some 
of the oil-carrying steamers now cany water 
in the tanks. 

793. I was putting the case to you of a ship 
going to sea with the proper amount of bal- 
last on board, and not ai-riving with it all ttere ; 
you cannot legislate in that direction, can you? 
If a vessel is coming into port she may be 
overloaded you deal with the ship. 

794. Did you ever know of a ship coming into 
port overloaded? Yes, there are cases where 
a ship has come in overloaded ; it was prac- 
tically when it left the other side, and here 
as well; the men have sent word from there 

. and the Board of Trade has been on the watch, 
and when they have come in have found the 
vessel submerged more than it ought to have 
been. Those oases have been ascertained. 

795. The Board of Trade has had power to 
deal with those cases ? Yes. 

796 And has not the Board of Trade power to 
deal with vessels not sufficiently ballasted? 
No, not in that respect. 

797. You do not know of any? No, not any- 
thing as regards that. 

798. As secretary for your union, have you 
not had occasion to look at the Merchant Ship- 
ping Act at all ? Yes ; but I do not know that 
there is any Act as far as ballast is concerned. 

799. Do not you know that the Board of Trade, 
in case of ships being improperly laden, or un- 
seaworthy, have power to deal with them? 
That might be ; but we have never heard of 
any cases taken up in that respect. 

800. Do not you think the Board of Trade 
has sufficient power just now, looking at the 
interests, for instance, of seamen, in connection 
with ships insufficiently laden? No, I do not 
think they have. 

801. You do not know that they have? No. 

802. You do not know the Act, then? No. 
not as far as that has gone. There is one case 
of a ship that we had some years ago, it was a 
Pinkney case, I think I forget the name at 
any rate there was a man washed overboard out 

of her; she was supposed to be in ballast, biit 
the gangway happened to be open. That is 
one case we had, and we lost a good deal of 
money over that. 

803. Was she detained? -No. That was the 
only case I remember of us taking any action 
where a vessel was light. 

804. What action was taken? In the union 
we fought the case ; in fact, I think it was taken 
to the House of Lords, but we lost, if I mis- 
take not. 

Lord Wolverton. 
80.5. That was fought by the union? Yes. 
that was the " Amalgamated." That was the 
only case where I remember a vessel was loaded 
light where a man had been lost overboard ; 
the gangway was not shipped, and owing to her 
'.rolling so he rolled overboard. 

806. I Buppose we might say that the interests 

Lord Inverclyde continued. 

and the object of the National Seaman's Federa- 
tion and of the Board of Trade are very must 
similar, are not they to protect life at sea? 

807. And we may take it their duties are 
similar? Yes. 

808. Has any resolution been passed by yoor 
Board ? In reference to this light load line ? 

809. Yes? Yes, our members passed a reso- 
lution, when they heard that the Light Load 
Line Bill was likely to be introduced, that they 
would try if possible to find out some way. 

810. Did they pass a resolution absolutely in 
favour of the light load line ? ^Yes. 

811. They discussed it? Yes. 

812. There was a discussion on the subject? 

813. I suppose now you will be able to speak 
to this very well. There is great competition, is 
there not, in what we might call " tramping ? " 
Yes, very keen. ' 

814. The competition is very keen? Yes, 
very keen competition. 

815. Therefore, supposing that there was any 
extra legislation fixed on this class of vessel any- 
thing that might hamper it in any way it is per- 
fectly possible (it is conceivable) that you might 
put out of court altogether a certain class of 
vessel which is now trading which would not be 
able to conform, perhaps (or that it would not be 
possible to conform) to the light load line ? 
Yes ; I believe if the light load line was intro- 
duced it would create a certain amount, of 
expense. I will admit that. 

816. I am not cross-examining you ; I am only 
asking because I want to know what is the 
opinion of your Union. Say that that did take 
place, and that it put a great many ships that are 
now plying along the coast out of the trade as you 
might say, would not that have a great effect on 
the labour market would not you say it might 
be a very serious thing ? It might to a certain 
extent, but then I do not see the utility of ono 
owner having the privilege of lunniug great 
risks over the top of another one, as regards life 
and limb. 

817. As far as we have seen at present loss of 
life has been very small from under-ballasting ? 
Well, that is so; there has not been tne 
amount that there was formerly, I understand. 

818. Then I take it from you that there would 
be a possibility, supposing the Light Load Line 
Bill were compulsory, of a certain amount of 
ships that are now plying being put out of the 
trade ? Yes. I believe it would nave that effect 
in a certain class of vessel. 

819. It would have the effect of putting 

f'eat many men out of work, would it not i 
do not Imow that it would. If these vessels 
were put out there would be other vessels take 
their place. 

820. In fact it is not your opinion that it 
would have any effect on the industry ? No ; I 
do not think it would. 


821. Have you anything else you want to sxy ? 
No, my Lord. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 



10 March 1903. 

Caitain JOSEPH ALFRED DITCHBURN is called in; and Examined, as follows; 


822. Will you state to the Committee what 
your profession is, and what yon are doing now ? 
I hold a master's certificate und have nad 22 
years sea experience. 

823. In what capacity ? From boy up to 
master : I have been right through the grades 
from boy to master. 

824. Are you a master now ? I am a master 
mariner at the present time, but not on active 

825. How long is it since you were at sea ? 
I left the sea in June last year. 

826. And when you were last in the sea service 
what trade were you following ? I was mostly 
in the North Atlantic trade latterly. Before, I 
had been in the Black Sea and all trades barring 
the China trade. 1 hove been in Colonial trades 
and three years on the coast. 

827. So that you have had a very considerable 
experience ? A little bit of all-round experience. 

828. Have you had experience in the class of 
vessels which will he affected by the proposals 
which the Committee are considering tramp 
steamers ? Yes ; most of my time has been put 
in in tramp steamers of late years ; I have put 
in the last 10 years m tramp steamers ; and I 
have to say that in most cases, in nearly every 
case, the ballasting is not sufficient for the man- 
agement of the snip when she gets to sea in 
heavy weather. So long as the weather is fine 
and the conditions are favourable, the ship can 
go to sea practically as we call it with a 
clean swept hold ; but in the majority of 
cases the water ballast which is supplied to 
the ship is not sufficient to give the propeller 
sufficient grip to cause enough headway to bring 
the .ship under command when in a storm. 
There was one case in particular, in which I was 
chief officer, of a steamer called the " Hampstead," 
when we wore for eight hours between the Long- 
ships and the Wolf Rock, not under command, 
and the only thing we could do was to go ahead 
or astern with the engines. There were other 
vessels in the vicinity, brigs and barques, under 
top sails, and we came very near getting into 
collision with two of them through being unable 
to get out of their way. Finally we managed to 
get the .ship round before the wind and ran back 
and got into Mounts Bay, and we laid there 
days before we were able to continue the voyage 
round to Cardiff, where we were bound to load 
coals. My opinion i^ that had the owners in 
that case spent about 75 at the outside, in a 
little extra ballast, they would have saved at 
least 75 on the ships expenses during that 
voyage, because she was delayed three days in 
Mounts Bay, which they estimated at 50 a day 

829. And who was responsible there for her 
going to sea with insufficient ballast? The 
master is held responsible for the filling of the 
water ballast tanks, and when they are filled 
the ship is considered to be in ballast trim. 
If it is put forward that the ship is very un- 

Chairinan continued. 

steady with the amount of water ballast that 
is in her, you may get a concession from the 
owners to put 50, 100, or 200 tons of ballast, 
according to the voyage you are going, in one 
case, going from the Baltic across to Fhila(lei])hia, 
we had 150 tons of stone put in, and, as 
has been mentioned before, before we got out to 
Philadelphia this stone ballast was throWn over- 
board, to have a clean-swept hold and bo ready 
to take in cargo as soon as the ship arrived. 

830. Is that a frequent practice on tramp 
ships ? I believe it is very frequent from the 
continent, with ships that have not sufficient 
water ballast, to put in 200 or 300 tons of this 
stone ballast, and then, on approaching the other 
side, just to throw it overboard so as to be ready 
to load your cargo as soon as you get there. 

831. How did you finish your passage ? The 
result was that we were about three days off 
Delaware breakwater and a breeze struck us ; we 
got a strong breeze and were blown down the 
coast two days' distance, about 120 miles down 
the coast, and we had to steam back as soon as 
the storm abated ; so that I reckon that delayed 
us again another day on that side. 

832. If you had kept your stone on board you 
you woidd have been able to get in, would you ? 
Quite so. And there are cases again where a 
ship may not be called not under control, but at 
the same time she cannot keep her course ; that 
is to say she may deviate from her course,, 
as much as eight points on each side, which is 
at right angles to her course ; and if in a 
place like the English Channel, where there is a 
lot of traffic going on, you happen to fall across a 
vessel of that sort, you have to give her a wide 
berth. But on the other hand, she may be going 
on steadily when you sight her, and all of a sudden 
she swerves oft' her course and you are not to know 
that it is an accident ; it may be, so far as you 
know, that the people on board are doing it, and 
a collision may occur; whereas the officer and 
master-in-charge are not in fault at all for the 
way the vessel is acting; it is simply beyond 
their control. 

833. Does that only happen in a case of in- 
sufficient ballast? Yes; because with a loaded 
ship the propeller is always sufficiently submerged, 
and the rudder also, so that the vessel will answer. 

834. Is there any other case that you want to 
mention ? There was another case on the coast 
of a sailing ship, hut that was some years before, . 
that took chalk ballast from London bound 
to North Shields, for coals. She was struck by a' 
squall in Robin Hood Bay and was nearly cap 
sized ; one man went overboard at any rate ; she 
heeled over at such an angle that one man was 
slipped clean over the side and was never seen 
again ; she was called the " Clac-na-Cuddin." 

835. Was that in consequence of her not having 
sufficient ballast ? She had not sufficient ballast 
to stand up. Two or three similar accidents 
happened to that same ship before that. In one 
case she turned right over while lying at anchor 




10 March 1908.] 

Captain J. A. Ditchburn. 


Chair nan continued. 

in the river during a breeze of wind, having no 
ballaet in her at all at that time. 

836. Then how was it that that was not 
rectified ? That I c?nnot say. 

837. The master was responsible ; did he not 
like to recommend a change to the o^vners, or 
what was it ? A master is not responsible, 
because the owners say to the master, " You are 
going from this port to that port and you will 
go in water-ballast ; " or if they think fit they 
will say, " You put 50 or 100 tons of ballast in 
the ship ; " and you have to go by what they 
say. If you are not satisfied, well, there are 
plenty of others that will jump into your place 
and take the risk, if you do not feel inclined to 
do so. I maintain that there are 75 per cent, of 
tramp ships at the present time go to sea that 
have not sufficient ballast in them, in case of bad 
weather, to be properly navigated and to have 
control over tnem. 1 have done over 55 
voyages across the Atlantic, and many times 
have I come across vessels light that were not 
under control at all with the signals up, " Not 
under management," that were light-bound, 
across to the States to load. And also in the 
English Chaimel here 5'ou will find them pretty 
well down on the French Coast ; because it is a 
rule if they are very light always to give the 
land a wide berth and take a mid- channel 
course, so that they have plenty of room in case 
the weather does turn bad. 

838. And what is the remedy for that, in your 
opinion ? My opinion is that they should have 
a standard for ballasting a ship, somewhat the 
same as loading her. I do not see any difficulty 
for a light load line any more than for the 
PlimsoU mark. The experts who were instru- 
mental in getting a deep load line I think could 
get a light load line under the same circum- 
stances to apply to each vessel. 

839. You do not think it would seriously affect 
and injure the trade ? No, I do not think so. 
It may in the first instance cause a little more 
expense to the shipowners ; but on the other 
hand, it would save their property, it would 
be a safeguard to their property; because 
many a captain goes to sea on a tramp steamer 
and if his vessel is insufficiently ballasted, he 
does not know whether he is going to reach his 
port or not. 

840. You have been here during the evidence 
that has been given ? Yes. 

841. Did you hear some suggestions made to 
cure the evil without having a light load line ? 

842. To take one, for instance, as to the builders 
being compelled to give what practically was a 
light load line, when they handed over their ship, 
what should you say with regard to that ? I do 
not say it is the builders. The owners give the 
order for the ship to be built, they put forth their 
specification and the builders build the ship 
according to the owners specification. The 
owners them.selves have their superintendent 
engineer, master mariner or superintendent of 
the deck department, to give them sugges- 
tions as to what it should be, and they take it 
from them ; and the specifications are made out 
and .sent to the builders and the ship is built 


Chairman continued. 

843. You do not think that that would be a 
practical solution of the difficulty ? No. I do 
not think that the builders should have to do 
anything more than anybody else would do. If 
they are told to build a ship they would build 
it according to the plans. They have a speci- 
fication laid down, and they build according to 
that specification. 

844. Then to-day I think we have had some 
suggestion as to the underwriters and insurance 
people making conditions, what do you think of 
that ? Mv idea is that the underwriters take it 
that the ships when sent to sea are in a seaworthy 
condition, otherwise they would not take the risk 
of insuring the ships at the premiums they do. 
If they Knew that a ship was going to be sent 
to sea unseaworthy and that she was likely to- 
come to any danger through being insufficiently 
ballasted or unloaded, to take it the other way 
about, they would not insure that ship for the 
same money. 

845. Do you think they make a great differ- 
ence in their terms on account of loading or not 
loading sufficiently ? I am not in a position to 
say as to what the underwriters' terms are. 

846. And how would you have the light load 
line settled if it were adopted ?- I should have 
it settled by experts in the same way as the 
PlimsoU line, because every vessel would have to 
be considered according to her build. 

847. Is there anything else you want to say ? 

Lord Wolverton. 

848. Touching on the subject of the insurance, 
do you think that the trouble might be met by 
a clause in the underwriters' policy, saying that 
the screw should be submerged to a certain 
extent ? That might help matters. I do not 
know that it would be a cure for it. 

849. Not a total cure ? Not a total cure ; it 
might help in a great many instances. 

Lord Shand. 

850. I suppose anything of that kind inserted 
by the insurance company would be difficult to 
express in the absence of a load line of some 
kind ? Yes ; we should be practically in the 
same boat as we are now. You go and look at 
the ship in the dock, and the people say she is- 
properly ballasted ; but you do not know what 
that ship is going to do, and you have no lines 
to go by, barring the draft of the ship, to say 
that she is properly ballasted. 

851. It would practically come to this, that 
in some way or otner the Insurance Companies 
must specify something like the load line to be 
required ? Yes. 

852 And that would be extremely difficult ? 
Yes ; there must be a line or marks so that 
anybody coming along could say, "That ship is 
down to her mark," the same as they can say 
if she is loaded. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

853. Supposing that there were a light load 
line, how would you get over the difficulty of 
which you have spoken, and another witness 
also has spoken, of the master throwing all his 
ballast over-board before he gets to the other 

Q side ? 



10 Mardi 1903.] 

Captain J. A. Dxtchburx. 


Lord /tivcrciiytie continued. 

side ? I should get over tlie difficulty in this 
way : that he leaves harbour down to his ballast 
line the same as he does with his load line ; and 
in the case of a steamer you burn so many tons 
of coal a dav according to the consumption of 
the ship. When he arrives at his port it is 
easily calculated whether he has thrown over- 
board anything. Every ship, of course, has a 
certain immersion, 20 or 25 tons as the case may 
be, or perhaps more, to the inch. On a scale 
of 20 tons to the inch, if you bum 20 tons of 
coal a day on your passage, you allow an inch 
for rising on each day of your ptissage, and in 14 
days you would rise 14 inche.s. 

854. Who is to be the judge, at the foreign 
port, as to whether the master has burnt too 
much coal,or too little, on arrival with insufficient 
ballast ? They cannot say anything about burn- 
ing too much coal or too little ; there is only a 
certain consumption which, within two or three 
tons, ranges about tho same every day. There 
may be a little difference in the quality of coal 
which would make the consumption greater or 
less, but that rule would apply in the same way 
as in loading a ship. In loading a ship we have 
to find out now many tons of coal she is going to 
take, If she is going to take 500 or 600 or 700 
tons of coal on board, we have to calculate for 
that before we load the ship. If I am going to 
take 500 tons of bunker coals on board, I have 
to load my ship so that she will be down to her 
line when that coal is on board ; that is say, if 
the 500 ton of coals will put the ship down 10 
inches, I have to allow that 10 inches oft' my 
cargo, so that when the bunker coals are in and 
she is fully loaded and bunkered she must be 
down to her line and no more. 

855. Then do you mean that with a light load 
line you would allow so much more to be put in 
so as to arrive at her destination just at the light 
load line mark ? There would be just the same 
difference between the deep load line and the 
light load line. 

856. You do not think there would be any 
difficulty in dealing with that ? Not at all. 

857. Are you in favour of taking the respon- 
sibility off the masters altogether ? I do not 
think the ballasting should be left to the masters 
any more than to the owners; because the 
masters are likely to be influenced by the owners 
and the OAvners are likely to be influenced by 
economy. One or two cases have come under 
my personal observation of such being the case, 
where the master has been afraid to speak for 
fear that he would lose his position. 

858. Have you known of many cases of 
masters losing their position througn speaking 
about insufficient ballasting ? I know of two 
cases only. 

859. Out of how many masters that you 
know ? My circle of acquaintances is not large 
in that respect ; but I know of two men that I 
can say lost their position through, as the owners 
put it, saying too much wanting too much. 

860. Do you know whether there has been 
much loss of life through under-ballasting or 
over-loading ? I do not know of a great many 
cases of loss of life. I know of two men. One 
second mate was practically rolled off" the bridge : 
the ship was lying in the trough of the sea. 

Lord Inverclyde continued. 

unmanagciible, and she rolled so heavily that he 
was flung from one side of the bridge to the 
other and went right overboard. And several 
cases have come under my notice where seamen 
and firemen have injured, the firemen down 
below from being thrown from one side of the 
ship to the other with firing tools in their hands 
ana getting their limbs Broken or injured in 
some way ; and seaman also on deck in the 
same way. 

861. Tliat I suppose happens with ships laden 
also? Yes, it applies in the same way; but in 
the case of a ship laden she would not labour 
quite so heavily as would a ship light, in a big soi. 

862. Then you say that it is to the owner's 
disadvantage to send a ship to sea under- 
ballasted it it is going to take her a longer time 
to get to her port ? ^JVIost decidedly it is to his 
disadvantage as to the time lost and the safety 
of his property. 

863. So that they do not do it if they can help 
it ? I do not know, it is done ; probably they 
are unaware of it, because there are many things 
which happen at sea which are never spoken of 
and are never heard of by the public a.shore ; 
little things that happen which the master or 
officer may think a lot of at the time, but by the 
time he gets in port it is all forgotten, he thinks 
no more about it and therefore says nothing 
about it to the owners. 

864. Then what does the owner gain by sending 
a vessel to sea with too little ballast on board ? 
Saving expenses. 

865. Then against that you say he risks his 
property ? Yes, that is against the expenses. 

866. So that it is better for him to take care 
of his property ? I should imagine it would be 
better for nim to take care of his ship than, for 
the sake of, say 751., to risk 35,000Z. 

867. Do you know the Merchant Shipping 
Act ? I have a little knowledge of it. 

868. Do you know the powers under that Act 
for dealing with vessels that are unseaworthy ? 
I am not very clear upon that just now. I 
know there are heavy fines, but there is nothing 
in it about a light load line and ballasting of 
ships that I am aware of. 

Lord Brassey. 

869. You mentioned the name of Mr. Plimsoll. 
When Mr. Plimsoll brought before Parliament 
his proposals for enforcing a survey of ships and 
a fixed load line, he insisted on the necessity of 
that registration mainly on the ground of the 
lamentable loss of life in British merchant 
shipping; that is common knowled^. You 
know that that was so, do you not ? Yes. 

870. I do not gather from the evidence that 
you have given us, that you put the case before 
us for a light load lino on the same body of 
evidence resting upon loss of life at sea ? There 
are, undoubtedly, many lives lost at sea through 
ships being light and going on shore. 

871. Can you quote any cases ? I do not 
know of any case that I have been personally 
connected with. 

Lord Muskerry. 

872. We may take it that you are very 
strongly in favour of a light load line? Yes, 
very much so. 

873. It 



10 March 1903.] 

Cantain J. A. Ditchburn. 


Lord Muskerry continued. 

873. It \n\\ save the owner, save the master, 
and save the surveyor ? Yes, I think it will be 
a safeguard all round, not only for one side, but 
for all sides. 

874. Now I suppose you know that sometimes 
ballast is not shipped that has been paid for ; 
there is a certain amount of fraud in eastern 
ports? Yes, cases of fraud in the way of 
weighing ballast have come imder my notice. 

Lord Muskerry continued. 

875. And this light load mark would put a 
stop to that ? Yes. 

876. And therefore it would be a great benefit 
to the owner ? -Yes ; they will have to put the 
weight into the ship then. 


877. Is there anything else you wish to say ? 
I think that is all. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 

Captain JAMIESOX ROBERTSON is called in; and examined, as follows; 


878. What profession do you belong to ? Late 
master mariner and late shipowner. 

879. How long were you master mariner ? 
Twenty years in command. I am practising as 
a marme surveyor at present. 

880. Do you say that you are an owner as well ? 
I have been. 

881. You can .speak, I see, as to you experi- 
ence in four different ships ? Yes, four different 

882. When they were in ballast ? When they 
were in ballast, 11 voyages altogether. 

883. I see first there is the " Deva " ? Yes, 761 
tons register, 1150 tons dead weight. 

884. She was built in 1873, was she? She 
was built in 1873. 

885. And what happened ? She made one 
passage from Algoa Bay to Madras with 400 tons 
of sand ballast ? That' was in 1880. 

886. That was in 1880 ? That was in 1880, 
secured by three-inch deals as shifting boards. 

887. What have you to say about it ? With 
that quantity of ballast I considered the ship per- 
fectly seaworthy for all weathers. 

888. Then why do you bring her forward in 
evidence now ? My purpose in bringing her for- 
ward in evidence is to indicate my idea of the 
quantity that is necessary to put a sailing ship in 
a safe condition at sea' I may mention here 
that I can give you no evidence as to insufficient 
ballast, but only what I considered sufficient in 
the cases in my experience. 

889. Then there is another ship ? The next 
ship in ballast is the " Elmhurst." 

890. There is a ship do^vn in this list before 
that ? Yes, but I had no over-sea voyage in her 

891. Then we need not put her in ? There is 
no occasion. 

892. Now with regard to the " Elmhurst " ? 
The "Elmhurst" was built in 1883: she was 
1,712 tons net register 2,570 tons dead weight, 
including water and stores. On the passage 
from Buenos Avres to Bassein, she had on board 
850 tons of ballast. 

893. Were you with her then ? Yes 

894. In the capacity of master ? In the 
capacity ot master. All the ships submitted I 
have been in command of during the 20 years. 
She had 850 tons of ballast and her draught 
with this quantity was 13 feet 10 inches. 


Lord Muskerry. 

895. She is a sailing vessel, of course ? Yes, 
a sailing vessel. The whole of my experience in 
command, was in sailing vessels. 


896. Then there is a voyage from Melbourne ? 
There were three voyages of this ship. The 
next voyage was Melbourne to Sourabaya, with 
951 tons of ballast. This greater quantity was 
taken on account of having to work to the west- 
ward, south of Australia. The next voyage was 
from Singapore to Portland, Oregon, with 850' 
tons, and 1 found her well and sufficiently 
ballasted with this quantity, having had very 
heavy weather upon several occasions, and having 
had also a moderate cyclone in the Bay of Bengal 
on the first passage mentioned : consequently I 
considered that quantity for her sufficient. This 
vessel, however, is iron, and is built to the 
requirements of the Liverpool Association; in 
other words, classed red in Liverpool, which is 
higher than Lloyds' requirements. I think, 
however, that this ;issociation is extinct now. 
The next vessel is the " Latimer." Is it necessary 
for me to go through these different voyages ? 

897. I do not know that it is. These are all 
vessels which vou consider carried a sufficient 
quantity of ballast to be safe in all weathers ? 
Yes, safe in all weathers. 

Lord Shand. 

898. And you have a list of several others, if 
the Committee desire them ? Yes, I have the 
list here 


899. And the proportion was about what ? 
The proportion was about half the register. It 
has been the common practice, in my experience,, 
for masters to consider half the registered ton- 
nage as the measure of what ballast a ship 

900. Then I see the last one I have the list 
here is called the " Carlisle Castle " ? Yes. 

901. That was your own vessel ? That waa 
my own ship 

902. There I see you increased the ballast ? 
Yes, I increased the quantity. 

903. Why did you do that ? On the first 
voyage I had with her the quantity of ballast 
you will observe was 640 tons, which I found, 
after going to sea, insufficient. That was my 

Q 2 first 



10 March 1903.] 

Captain Jamieson PUjbertson. 




Chairman continued. 

first and only experience of insufficient ballast, 
and the result of my own act. 

Lord Shand. 

904. You were commanding her yourself ? 
Yes, I was commanding my own ship, and hsul 
my wife and family on board. 


905. Then you give this evidenc to show that 
in your opinion it is a great object for owners of 
ships and for those who are sailing the ships, 
that the ships should be fully ballasted ? Yes. 

906. Have you much experience as to whether 
this rule is broken or carried out by the 
majority of shipowners ? It is my opinif^n that 
shipowners desire their ships to be well ballasted, 
which I will lead up to ttom this, if you will 
just allow me 

907. Yes ? It has been customary for masters 
to measure the quantity of ballast required by a 
sailing ship by the registered tonnage, and that 
quantity wivs half the registered tonnage. That 
was at a time when the weight of the ship to the 
dead weight was a greater ratio than it is to- 
day. That measure ol half the registered ton- 
nage was a fairly good one and a safe one both 
for wooden ships and for iron ships, especially 
for those iron ships built above Lloyd's require- 
ments half the register was a sate measure for 
them. That referred to ships whose dead weight 
Avas once and a-half the registered tonnage, and 

therefore equal to one-third of the dead 
that one-third the dead weight in 
my opinion is a fair measure of a ship's re- 
auirements for ballast trim. Haying regard 
also to a fair draught on that quantity in rela- 
tion to the deep load line draught, in my ex- 
perience and from the experience of those vessels I 
commanded, the ballast draught seems to be in the 
ratio of two-thirds of the load draught, which will 
also be a fair measure of the displacement neces- 
sary to give a righting moment. The same rule, 
applied to vessels built of lighter material, say 
of steel, half the register, would not be sufficient, 
or, if I may not say " not sufficient," it would 
be less than the quantity carried by an iron 
ship by the difference of weight of structure at 
least. Another factor entering into the deficiency 
in that respect is that the depth of floors 
may be higher in one ship than in another, 
although identical in measurements for tonnage, 
and consequently will carry more cargo over 
her registered tonnage on that account. There- 
fore in my opinion the ratio of ballast should be 
rather to that of dead weight than to registered 
tonnage at the present time. 

908. Then you are giving this evidence and 
these figures to show in what Avav if there was a 
light load line or if any regulations were made, 
the principle should be laid down ; is that it ? 
Yes, that is from my experience. 

909. Then how are you going on ? I think I 
have finished so far as what I have to say just 
now, unless you have any questions that may 
load up to anything. 

910. Then first of all I must ask you this : 
your experience is with ships that nave been 
sufficiently ballasted ? Yes. 

91 1. Are you, from your knowledge, aware that 
there are many ships that go to sea in ballast 

Chair n-.m continued. 

that are insufficiently ballasted ? Not from my 
knowledge. Hut if the same rule be applied to 
the ship that are built to-day, steel ships, they 
caunot be so well ballasted as the iron ships of 
20 years ago, or an iron ship that was built 20 
years ago ; that is to say, that if the rule of half 
the registered tonnage be applied, a steel ship 
must necessarily be less ballasted than an iron 
ship of the same dimensions. 

912. She does not require, to be seaworthy in 
ballast, to have so much ballast as the old ship 
in the old days 'f Yes, she wants more ; she re- 
quires more ballast, because her structure is not 
so heavy in relation to her dimensions. 

913. But you have not much experience or 
knowledge as to what is done with the generality 
of ships that go to sea in ballast? In insuffi- 
cient ballast, I have none whatever. 

914. Then, do you come forward to say that 
you are in favour of a light load line? ^Yes, I 
think it is very necessaiy to have a light loau 
line, especiallj' with regard to sailing ships, be- 
cause the masters are not able to fix it them- 
selves, inasmuch as they prefer to go by the prac- 
tice of years ago, which is not applicable at the 
present day, to the present day ship ; that is to 
say, they prefer to go upon half the registered 
tonnsige. One-third the dead weight of the pre- 
sent day ship certainly would be nearer the mark, 
but still it would be a less quantity in the ratio 
of total displacement than an iron ship. 

915. And you think that the responsibility 
should be thrown on a load line standard, in some 
way or another effectively settled by some Com- 
mittee or experts, or by some means, rather than 
leaving it on the masters of the ships, on whose 
responsibility it now chiefly rests ? That is my 

916. Then you give no evidence, nor do you 
know any facts with regard to masters of ships 
being overruled by the owners, and being un- 
willing to come forward to say that they have not 
sufficient ballast? I know of no facts in that 
direction ; it may or it may not exist. 

917. Then how would you lay down a light 
load line if it was decided tliat that should be 
carrie<l out? Let a committee qualified to deal 
with the question be appointed to frame rules to 
fix the jwsition of the light load line in the same 
manner that the deep load line was fixed before. 

918. You would prefer that to what has been 
suggested to-day in this room, that underwriters 
could have in their policy ^some conditions which 
they require before they insure a ship ? Yes. I 
do not see how it would be possible for the under- 
writers to enforce any siich condition. Their 
business is one of competition, the same as any 
other people carrj-ing on a commercial transac- 
tion ; if they cannot make a profit at it ,they will 
give it up ; and I do not see how the underwriters 
could enforce any condition in that way. I do 
not see that it would have any effect. 

Lord Woherton. 

919. I will only ask you about the underwrit- 
ing. You do not think that the underwriters 
will be able to enforce it? I think not. 

920. Y'ou do not think they would be able to 




10 Ma7-ch 1903.] 

Captain Jamieson Robertson. 


Lord Wolverton continued. 

. say, ' Unless your propeller is a little more sub- 
merged than this we will not insure you " ? 
There is competition in the underwriting, the 
same as there is in any other commercial matter. 

921. There is not competition to make a loss 
.though, is there ;* There is competition for tlie 
j)reniiums. It is not an imusual thing to go and 
ask this company what they will do your insur- 
.ance for a certain voyage, and then go to another 
for another quotation you may get a cheaper 
jate in this way. 

Lord Shand. 

922. And I suppose the company that en- 
forced any clause mJaking conditions pretty 
strong upcm the owner would fall out of busi- 
ness in competition with those that did not en- 
force it ? He would fall out of business ; I am 

.afraid he would have to give up underwriting. 

92^. Then, apart from that altogether, do not 
vou think there would be great difficulty (or am 
1 wrong in thinking so) in insurance companies 
specifjdng what they would require as a condi- 
tion of insuring the vessel? It is a condition 
i;hat the underwriters could not possibly put for- 
ward. They could not make the calculation and 
regulate the quantity of ballast the ship would 
iajve before they insured. All they could say 
would be that the ship would have to be suffi- 
ciently ballasted. 

924. That is exactly as matters are at present, 
so far as insurance goes? It is a condition of 
the policy that, whether the ship be loaded or in 
ballast, she is supposed to be seaworthy. 

925. Your experience has been partly in sail- 
ing your own ships and partly in sailing 
another's. "What was the ballast that was used 
that you have spoken of ? Sand, sand and stone 
together ; stone and earth from Capetown upon 
:four occasions. 

92G. To what extent water-ballast ? No 
water-ballast whatever. 

927. Do you consider thalt water-ballast is 
subject to disadvantages and dangers that solid 
ballast is not? Yes; water-ballast is very 
liandy for steamships, but I do not think it will 
ever beoome extensively used in sail. 

928. Did you ever follow the practice of get- 
ting rid of your ballast by throwing it out, in 
order to save a day in loading, when going to 
a foreign port? Yes, I have. 

929. How is that done; whin do you begin 
to get your ballast out ? ^I did that on one occa- 
sion mvself, going to Albany, in South Austra- 
lia, after getting within St. George's Sound. 

9-30. When vou considered your vessel abso- 
lutely safe ? ^Yes ; inside of the island and almost 
upon the anchorage. 

931. Then vou considered your vessel abso- 
lutely safe without its ballast? Perfectly safe 
without the quantity I disposed of. I only dis- 

charged about 100 tons. 

932. And the object of that was that you 
might accelerate your loading ? ^Yes ; to hasten 
the dispatch and'to save money as well, to save 
it being transferred from the ship up the rail- 


Lord Sliand continued. 

933. You mean tliat you got rid of it in a 
place where nobody could object, whereas people 
might have objected if you had taken it in? 
Yes, if taken into the inner harboiu- it had to be 
taken away by truck and haulage paid per ton. 

Lord Brassey. 

934. I gather that your fine record of expe- 
rience in command is entirely in connection 
with sailing ships? Entirely in connection 
with sailing ships. 

935. So that the rules that you found applica- 
ble and satisfactory in dealing with sailing ships 
would not necessarily apply to steamships? I 
think they would. 

936. But you would not speak on the subject 
from experience ? iSo, not from experience ; I 
have had experience in steam, but not in com- 
mand. I have only been, many years ago, third 
officer, and I had the experience last year of 
birnging a small steamer from Iceland to Aber- 
desm ; but I would not put that forward, because 
she was only a small vessel, and it was only a few 
days passage. That was a case of salvage, 

937. But the interesting facts that you have 
given us do not bear directly upon the practice 
you would recommend in the case of steamships ? 
Xo, but I think the same displacement should 
be insisted upon in the ballast condition for 
steam as for sail. 

Lord Musherrii. 

938. I notice that all these sailing boats were 
built in the early days of your command? 
Covering from 1868 to 1885. 

939. All those vessels were built with a much 
finer underbody than the modern vessels? 
"With the exception of the last one, the " Lati- 

940. That is the one you had to put more bal- 
last into ? No ; that was the oldest one of all. 

941. "Was she flat ? No ; she was not ; she 
was what we usually call pretty long in the heel. 
It was my fault that too little 'ballast was taken. 
I measured half the register, but _she was one of 
the old passenger ships to Australia, and she had 
a considerable amount of top weight, and though 
I reduced her from ship rig to barque rig, still 
she was rather top-heavy. 

942. Are you not aware that water ballast was 
originally brought out, and only intended to keep 
a vessel upright going from one dock to another, 
or across or down the river to another dock or 
loading stage? I do not know that for a fact, 
but I can quite imagine it might be so. 

943. And it gradually extended to sea voy- 
ages ? Yes. 

944. You surely would never consider i 00 tons 
of water ballast enough for a steamer carrying 
5,000 tons dead weight? No, not by a long way. 

945. And that is very much the ordinary prac- 
tice, I believe? 2,700 tons would be more like it. 


946. Is there anything more that you would 
like to say? I have nothing more to say, thank 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 
OrJ#reJ,-That this Committee be adjourned to to-morrow, Twelve o'clock. 

[ 54 1 

[ 55 

Die Mercurii, 11^ Martii 1903. 


Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 
Lord MusKERJRY. 


Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

The Earl SPENCER in the Chair. 

.Hb. albert EDWARD SEATON, m.i.c.e., is called in; and Examined, as follows :-- 


947. Will you be good enough just to state 
your profession, and so on ? I am a civil engi- 
neer and a naval architect, a member of the 
Institution of Civil Engineers, a member of the 
Institution of Naval Architects, and a member 
of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers ; I 
am also a member of Lloyds' Technical Com- 
mittee, and chairman of the Hull Steam Shipping 
Company; for 15 years I was general manager 
and director of Earles' Shipbuilding and Engi- 
neering Company at Hull ; I am now a consulting 
engineer in Victoria street, Westminster. 

948. I daresay you will be good enough to 
state to the Committee what you wish to bring 
before them ? I have here a plan of what may 
be called a typical Atlantic cargo steamer of 
moderate size." Unfortunately, owing to the 
weather on Monday, the print is a very bad one. 
I should like just to use this to-day, but I will fur- 
nish you with a better copy later on. This ship 
I give as being typical oi. a modern boat ; it is 
not one of the very large ones ; a few years ago 
she would have been considered a very large 
boat ; she carries about 7,000 tons, and steams 
about 10 to 11 knots laden. She herself belongs 
to Messrs. Thomas Wilson, Sons, and Co., and 
as they have a regular line of steamers, of coiirse 
she always crosses the Atlantic, or nearly always, 
fully loaded, so that there is no personal question 
involved in quoting this vessel ; I only quote 
it to show the type of boat, and, from her figures, 
the condition of affairs when the ship would be 
light and in ballast. She is 400 feet long, 48 feet 
beam, 32 feet moulded depth, 28'8 depth of 
hold ; when loaded she draws 25 feet 1 inch of 
water, and has a displacement of 10,680 tons ; 
when light (that is to say, with nothing in, 
neither coal, nor water-ballast) the displace- 
ment is 3,050 tons, and the mean draught of 
water in that state is only 8 feet 5 inches.' I 
may say that this ship was built in 1896. I 
wish to compare her with a somewhat similar 
ship built in 1880, in order to show you that the 
older ship might be taken to sea almost with 
perfect safetv, with no cargo whatever. This 
ship, the " St. Ronans," is 403 feet long, 43*4 
broad, 32'5 deep; her draught d water, loaded, 

Chairman continued. 

is 25 feet 6, just a few inches more than the 
other one ; her displacement was 8,500 tons 
that is 2,000 tons less than the other one, but 
the greatest difference is that when she was light 
her displacement was 3,400 tons, and she drew 
12 feet 9 mean draught of water, as against the 
8 feet 5 of the other. I have also here particu- 
lars of a great many other ships of various sizes, 
tending to show that the older ships, built of 
iron, designed on comparatively fine lines, fitted 
with masts and spars, and having, generally 
speaking, a good many decks, in their unloaded 
condition were so deep in the water as to he, as 
I say, quite safe for ordinary navigation pur- 
poses. The modern ship, built of steel, is, of 
course, on that account some 14 per cent, lighter 
The modern ship has practically no masts and 
spars ; she has only what may be called derrick 
poles ; she has very few decks, and is generally 
made as light as possible, consistent with 
strength, in order that her dead-weight carry- 
ing may be as large as possible. The result is 
that in the light state she floats, as I have shown, 
very lightly on the water. I have also the par- 
ticulars of some smaller ships ; in fact, I have 
them ranging from the coaster of 1,080 tons dis- 
placement up to the Atlantic boat of 13,900 tons. 
I bring these, as I think it might be useful for 
the purposes of the Committee to see the actual 
physical facts of such ships as you are dealing 

949. I suppose a great many of these would 
hardly* come within the scope of our inquiry. 
They would hardly be ships that would often 
go out in ballast, would they ? Oh, they are all 
liable to that; they are t}^ical ships. Of 
course, I had to take such ships as I knew my- 
self and had particulars of, but the}- may all 
be taken_as typical ships, ranging from the At- 
lantic boat to the coaster. They are ships de- 
signed for trading to the Mediterranean, to Rus- 
sia, to South America, and other countries. 

950. What is to be deduced from the par- 
ticulars you give us? That whereas the older 
ship did not require ballast, or a very small 
amount of ballast, the immersion of the hull 
being siifficient to render navigation com- 



11 March 1903.] 

Mr. Seaton, m.i.c.e. 

[Cov tinned. 

Chairman continued. 

paratively safe, the modern ship from the causes 
I have named requires ballasting; she is not 
safe without a proper amount of ballast; and, 
moreover, the water ballast as usually provided 
in these ships is not sufficient to immerse them 
so as to make them capable of being safely 

951. You have got a good many instances of 
that ; I do not know whether the Committee 
would think it desirable or necessary to have 
them? You see in the abstract of m}' evidence 
that I make a proposal, and it is in support of 
that proposal that I rather put these figures in, 
in order to show how they apply to these ships. 
(The document referred to is handed in). 

Lord STiand. 

952. You could give many instances I under- 
stand, such as you have now given ? ^Yes. 

95;{. Then you would follow that up by a 
proposal? I ought to say that I have had this 
subject prominently before me in another 
capacity. Some three j-ears ago the attention 
of Lloyd's was called for the second time to the 
large number of breakages of screw shafts. I 
was appointed convener and chairman of a 
special sub-committee to consider the question, 
and to suggest remedies. We came to the con- 
clusion that the large number of breakages was 
due to ships crossing the Atlantic (more 
especially ihe Atlantic, "but crossing the ocean, I 
may saj-), too lightly laden. In other words, the 
propeller shaft became then subject to excessive 
shocks and to alternating stresses for which it was 
not originally designed, and as there seemed to 
be no prospect of abating the system of going to 
sea so light, the only alternative was to enlarge 
the shaft, and make it sufficientlj^ big to with- 
stand these high alternating stresses. 


954. Which would involve considerably more 
expense, I presume? Certainly. 

955. In the course of your inquiry did you 
have any statistics as to the number of ships in 
which this occurred ? Oh, yes ; we had a very 
large number of statistics of the ships ; and, of 
course, had the case of every broken shaft that 
had occurred for some three or four years. 

950. Can you give xis that information? Xo, 
I have not it, but Lloyds have it Lloyds' 

957. Is there a report to your committee stat- 
ing all these facts? Yes, a short report. Of 
course, it was quite a private affair, limjted to 
Lloyd's Register of Shipping ; but that was the 
conclusion we came-fo, and acting on it we altered 
the rules for the shafts. 

95S. You altered the rules for the shafts? 
Yes, the screw shafts now are very much larger 
than they used to be. 

959. It is only a few vears ago that this 
happened? Yes ; I think about three vears ago. 

960. You say, "We altered it." Those are 
the rules laid down by Lloyds? Lloyds' Re- 
gster of Shipping. Of course, they have rules 
and regulations for machinery, as well as ships. 

961. And they have laid down now a different 
rule in consequence of your report? Yes. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

962. Was it in consequence of your report, 
or their inquiry? Of course, I am a member 
of the committee ; this was simply a sub-com- 
mittee of the general committee. 


963. Now, would you proceed with the evid- 
ence you propose to give us ? Of course, I have 
had very little personal experience of ships "of 
this kind, but 11 have seen how they do behave 
when there is a little wind and they are lightly 
laden. I had one special instance coming in 
from sea from a trial trip entering the Hum- 
ber at low water, in a ship about 380 feet loug,. 
very fairly-well mmersed aft, but light forward. 
After rounding one of the banks the wind was 
from the westward, and, therefore, it came on- 
the ship's port bow ; she turned round, and the 
pilot could not get her up to the wind again ; 
she simply lay broadside to it, and it was a long 
time before we could get her on the course again ; 
and in the meantime the ship was between two 
dangerous sandbanks. 

964. Is that the ship named in this draft be- 
fore me the " Colorado "? Yes, the "Colo- 

Lord Wolverton. 

965. What year was that? That was in 1887. 
Then in modern times, owing to bad freights,, 
the tendencj-, of course, has been to send ships 
to sea from one port to auother without cargo, 
it being found cheaper to do so than to take 
cargo at veiy low freight. In the case of the 
company I am connected with, it is not an un- 
common thing, especially in winter time, for 
the captains to take extra ballast ; we quite ap- 
prove of their doing so ; in fact, we consider that 
it is more economic in the end, as the ship makes 
better weather and uses less coal and' gets over, 
the ground quicker. 


9G0. Besides the water ballast, extra ballast 
you mean ? ^Yes ; you put the water ballast in 
the bottom of the ship ; that makts the ship 
very safe, but gives her gi-eat stability ; without 
further ballast she tends to roll severely, and veiy 
often damages herself from that mere action of 
rolling. The extra ballast that is used is generally 
placed on the quarter deck or the main deck 
after part of the ship, and that tends not only 
to immerse the ship to put her deeper into the 
water but steadies her very much, raises the 
centre of gravity, and decreases the stability. 
We have generally found that ships so treated 
have made much better voyages in consequence. 

967. Then you have something to say about 
the immersion of the ship with regard to the 
screws ? Yes ; of course, I do not think anyone 
can say positively at what point danger in the 
navigation of the ship ceases, or where the ship 
becomes absolutely safe; but, I think, as a prac- 
tical man, some rough and ready rule can be 
laid down, whereby it may be said that a ship 
is in a fit state to be navigated. I think it is 
not sufficient to merely say that the screw shall 
be immersed, or that the ship shall have so much 
dead-weight on board in proportion to the dead- 



11 Mai-cit 1903.] 

Mr. Seaton, 


Chairman continued. 

weight capacity. I think it is quite a question 
of her having a proper trim, as well as being 
properly immersed ; so I suggested, as a rough 
rule, that at least 80 per cent, of the diameter 
ot screw of the single-screw ship and the whole of 
the diameter ot the twin-screw ship should be im- 
mersed. That would give the draught of the 
ship aft. Then forward I think it should be ^t 
least 40 per cent, of the mean load draught ; 
that is to say, if the mean load draught when she 
is fully laden is 20 feet (light) she should draw 
8 feet forward. That I think insures proper 
immersion of the screw and likewise gives a 
good trim to the ship. 

968. Then how would you propose that these 
rules that you have laid down should be applied 
to the ships? That is to say, should tliey be 
voluntary or compulsory? 

969. Yes ? That is a very difficult point, my 
Lord. I do not like compulsion ; it is, however, 
necessary in cases. It seems to me that if there 
should be compulsion as to the deep loading of 
the ship there should be something of the sort in 
light loading : that is to say, if it is acknowledged 
that the ship is not safe unless she is sufficiently 
immersed, then I think we ought to face the fact 
and deal with it. 

970. And you think there are a good many 
cases where a ship is not safe because she has 
not enough load on board ? Undoubtedly. She 
is not safe in this sense that if she is caught 
in a moderate gale of wind on a lee shore she 
ta in veiy great danger of stranding, and strand- 
ing in such a way as not only to become a total 
wreck, but to lose life. On the open sea, of 
course, if she is clear away from the land, the 
worst that happens is her being blown some 
hundreds of miles out of her course. 

971. Then you are in favour of a light load 
line being laid down by Act of Parliament? 
T think if such a rule could be arrived at as is 
equitable to all sorts of ships, it might be done. 
I am (|uite of opinion that it is the better policy 
t/> load a ship properly ; I think it is mistaken 
economy that causes an owner to send his ship 
to sea floating on the surface practically unman- 

972. Then I think you have got various other 
remedies that you have considered : perhaps 
you will state them ? If a shipowner is to be 
put to a certain expense for the sake of that 
which is other than commercial gain, he natu- 
rally looks to have something as an equivalent, 
something to encourage him, as it were. The 
Legislature has in the past recognised that prin- 
ciple by giving a special reduction in tonnage 
for the light and air spaces on board steam- 
ships. In the old steamships the engine and 
boiler rooms were apt to become insufferably 
hot and stuffy in fact, not healthy for the en- 
eineeri and firemen : and to avoid that the light 
and air spaces are all allowed off from the gross 
tonnage: and not only that, but they are 
allowed off at a very high rate in cases of .ships 
in which it means a laree proportion of their 
tonnage. Of course, it is for an owner to say 
how he will immerse his ship. If he chooses to 
do it hv means of tanks permanent ballast 
tanks then, I think, he should have some en- 
couratrcment in the way of reduction in tonnage. 


Chairman continued. 

i>Tu. 'J.'hen I think you also say something 
with regard to underwriters? Well, it has 
always struck me that the underwriters ui 
Lloyds and elsewhere might have done much iii 
thii direction before ; they do make exceptioiu 
in their policies for certain contingencies, and 
it seems to me they could do that in the case of a 
ship sent to sea improperly loaded. 

974. You are on the committee ; have you ever 
had that discussed ? We do not deal with that ; 
wo are purely technical. The Lloyds I speak of 
there is the association of underwriters at the 
Itoyal Exchange. I think if they were to say to a 
shipowner, If you choose to take your ship to sea 
without sufficient ballast to make her manageable 
in a gale of wind, our rate will be so much more ; 
we shall want something extra. At the present 
time a time policy covers almost every contin- 

975. Then how would that be settled when the 
ship was sailing so as to meet the demands of the 
underwriters ? That, I take it, would be accord- 
ing to some rules laid down by a technical 

976. There would he no practical difficulty in 
working that out? I do not think so no. 

977. Then you have something to say upou 
ships clearing ports in ballast, and having 
ballast beyond that in the double bottoms and 
peaks, have you not? There is a geneial 
tendency on the part of port authorities to treat 
evervthing that is not stone or sand as cargo ; 
and I think it should be made very clear that it 
whatever is taken is taken purely as a matter of 
safety, the ship should be dealt with as if she 
was going simply in ballast. 

978. Should be allowed a reduction in rates and 
dues ; is that it ? Yes. 

979. Then you have got some further sugges- 
tion to make to the effect that Lloyds should give 
a class, or mark ? If a ship is built with tanks 
additional to the double bottom and fore and aft 
peaks, specially if such tanks are built in a way 
not only to trim the ship down, but to make her 
stabilitv what it should be, the ship might have a 
mark of some kind to signify it, and preference 
should be given to ships having that by the 
Grovernment authorities. 

980. You think the Government should give 
a preference when chartering ships to ships that 
have those additional safetv provisions? Yes. 

981. Then the .last thing I have got down 
here I see is with regard to foreign shipping ; 
what do you say with regard to that? Of course, 
the great outcry and I think it is a very fair one 

on the part of British shipowners is this : That 

whereas they themselves are liable to the law of 
the land and have to complv \^-ith the rules and 
regulations of the Board of Trade, verj of ten at 
considerable cost to themselves and to the spoil- 
ing of all their ships, and thev to a consideralile 
extent handicapped by it, the foreigner is free 
to come into our ports, both British and colonial, 
and do iust as he likes ; he has no load line, no 
licht load line, and he has no particular number 
of boats or life-saving apj^aratus; he has nothing 
in fact, of a very expensive nature, siich as the 
British shipowner is bound to have. The result 

H , ^^ 



11 March 190:1.] 

Mr. Seaton, m.i.ce. 


CKiirman continued. 

is that the capital involved in a foreign ship 
is considerably less than that involved in a 
Hiitish ship of the same size. 

982. And that api)lies, of vconrse, to ships 
under the deep load line? Precisely. 

983. IJo you know that foreign nations now 
adojjt the deep load line ; we have heard some- 
thing about it? They have not adopted it to 
my knowledge. 

984. Not to your knowledge? No; I have 
seen no foreign ships with a mark on them, ex- 
cept the Lloyds' mark. Of course, the foreign 
ship, if she is to have Lloyds' highest class, has 
to have the Lloyds' mark on her. 

985. Does the absence of the Plimsoll mark 
on these foreign ships prevent sailors joining 
those ships very often or not? ^Well, I could 
not say of my own knowledge. 

Lord Muskerry. 

986. You think that a large amount of these 
ships go to sea insufficiently ballasted to meet 
bad weather?- Yes; I judge so from what I 
have read in tlie public prints, and what I have 
seen myself, too. 

987. Taking what you say about underwriters 
settling a certain margin of safety to which ships 
should be ballasted, and the means of ascertain- 
ing this, would it not be necessary to have the 
light load line so that anyone could see at a 
glance whether they were complying with the 
rule ? If the undei-writers are to take that posi- 
tion, they must have one. 

988. There must be a mark? Yes. 

989. If we are going to alter the way in which 
these light ships go to sea by making them take 
more ballast and make them comply with that 
requirement, it is absolutely necessary, is it not. 
to have a mark ? Yes, I think so. In that paper 
I have shown what would be involved if my sug- 
gestion were carried out as to the 80 per" cent. 
^nd 40 per cent. It shows that it is only in the 
veiy modern ships that the additional ballast 

necessary would be serious. 


990. TYliat ])aper are you alluding to? The 
schedule I produced at first, my Lord. For in- 
stance, in the case of those two ships I quoted, 
in order to bring the " Dido " down to the rule 
I have laid down, it would be necessary to put 
1,813 tons on board. Well, of that she already 
has about 800 or 900 tons of water-ballast, and 
she will always have a certain amount of coal, 
so that it would probably mean an additional 
800 or 900 tons of ballast in order to get her 
down to that.. On the other hand, the " St. 
Eonans" the older ship, built in 1880 re- 
quires only 270 tons. Well, she had that amount 
of water-ballast, so that she would have required 
nothing additional. 

Lord Mihakerry. 
991 Then the real cause of this additional 
ballast being required is the change in the 
structure of the ships ? Yes, the form and con- 

992. They are mostly flat-bottomed tanks, are 

Lord Muakerry continued. 

they not ? There is a large ship in dock at Hull 
at present which has a rise of floor of only 
4i inches; a precisely similar ship 20 years ago 
would have had about two feet ; so that she is 
virtually as Hat as it is possible to make a 

Lord Inverclyde. 

993. I understand you to say that in con- 
sequence of the change of design in the con- 
struction of ships, that brought about a recon- 
sideration of Lloyds' rviles ? For the shafts, 
yes ; we had not appreciated the cause until 
there had been a great many accidents, though. 

994. Was the result of the alteration in the 
rules a diminution in the number of casualties ' 
We believe so. Yes, it is so in fact. 

99.5. Then you have been giving evidence 
entirely in regard to steamers, I suppose ? 

996. What do you think with regard to 
sailing ships ? Sailing ships must be ballasted ? 
you could not sail them very well without ; you 
see they would not cany their canvas without a 
considerable amount of ballast. 

997. But would the same rules with regard to 
a light load line apply to the sailing ship as to 
the steamer ? Only in navigating from port to 
port. There have been cases in which sailing 
ships have upset in being towed round from one 
port to another. There is in that sense .i 
necessity for a light load line for them. 

998. In arriving at the light load line for 
them would you apply the same rules as to 
steamers ? No. 

999. Would you apply the same rules to 
vessels of the liner class ? Yes ; but they would 
not require anything additional. 

1000. They would not require anything ? 
No ; their form is such that they get immerse* 1 
without additional ballast. I have a case here. 
A modern liner that is to say what 1 call an 
express steamer is sufficiently fine and has 
such a weight of machinery (initial dead weight 
if I may call it so) that she is immersed alway; 
sufficiently to be perfectly safe. 

1001. What would bo required extra in 
arriving al the light load line putting vessels of 
all kinds into dift'erent classes ? I think the 
same iiile would applj- to every class of steamer 
that I have given here. I do not say that that 
is the best rule, but I put it as a suggestion that 
if applied to every class would only impose the 
carrying of cargo by vessels that are caim) 
stenmcrs. The express steamer is already 
sufficiently weighted with her machinery, and 
other things, not to require any further ballast. 

1002. Still they have a deep load line as well 
as the cargo class of steamers, have they not ? 
That is simply because it is the law of the land 
but they never load to their lowest line ; If they 
did so t1iey could not enter the ports for which 
they are designed for one thing, and for another 
reason very often their scuttles would be too netir 
the sea. 

1003. Then, in considering the light load line, 
you would have to consider all the different 
classes of steamers and sailing ves.sels that were 
rcfjuired to have the light load line. You could 
not deal with them under ,a general rule ? The 




11 March 1903.] 

Mr. Seaton, 


Lord Inverclyde continued. 

general rule, I propose, would apply to them all, 
but it would not affect them all alike. For 
instance, this rule would very seriously affect 
the very bluff cargo boat of the modern type, 
but it would not affect either the liner or the 
ship built five and twenty years ago. 

1004. Then do you not agree with some evi- 
dence that one witness gave us Captain Wood ; 
he said that he thought each class of vessel 
ought to be put into a different class, so as to 
arrive as to what its light load line ought to be ? 
I do not think so myself. Of course you ask 
me on the spur of the moment, and I give you 
a rather quick answer ; but I cannot conceive of 
the necessities of the case requiring any differen- 
tiation of that kind ; I think you would find 
that a rule of this kind would automatically 

1005. Then do you think the question of 
ballast should be entirely taken out ot the hands 
of the master ? No, I would not object to 
leaving it in the master's hands if that were 
possible. Unfortunately, the master is not 
always a free agent, as he ought to be. In 
the company I liave to do with it is practically 
left to the masters entirely ; if they say they 
must have more ballast, well they nave it, and 
I do not think our managers (I certainly 
personally woidd not) would take the responsi- 
bility of saying, " Nay " to a master ; but I do 
not know that that is always the case ; I do 
not think it is. 

Viscount Ridley. 

1006. Are you able to give an opinion as to 
the comparative loss of foreign ships from in- 
sufficient ballast ? No, I do not know that at 

1007. Or do you know about the rate of in- 
surance on foreign ships ? No, not of my own 

Lord SImiuI. 

1008. Do I understand that although your 
company leave it entirely in the discretion of 
the captain what ballast he shall have, there are 
many instances in which the captain has not a 
voice in it, and it is fixed entirely by the o^vner ? 
I Imve reason to believe that captains are not 
always free agents to deal with questions of that 

1009. For what reason ? Because I think the 
owner is under the mistaken idea that it is 
going to be more costly if he did allow the 
captain a free hand ; I think he is mistaken. 

1010. So that practically the captain has his 
instructions in such cases from the owners as to 
the ballast ? Yes. 

1011. In regard to your suggestions generally, 
do you think legislation would become neces.sary 
to give effect to them ? Well, I almost think it 
would. I do not see how it is quite possible to 
brin^ the thing about without something of the 

1012. You have not considered whether regu- 
lations _ by the Board of Trade apart from 
legislation would serve the purpose in many 


Lord Shand continued. 

respects ? The Board of Trade have certain 
general powers, and those powers as you know,, 
my Lord, are vested with a particular surveyor. 
I do not think any individual surveyor would 
take on himself the responsibility of stopping a 
ship because he thought she was not safe. 

1013. And for what reason ? Because he would 
be personally liable for his act. The Act says 
the surveyor shall do this and do the other thing; 
it does not say that he shall act on the instruc- 
tions of the President of the Board of Trade, or 
even of his own superior officer, but that he must 
on his own responsibility do these things. 

1014. I understand that if the inspector acts 
on his own view of what is right (and it is very 
proper he should do so) and it turns out to be 
wrong in the judgment of the Court that sits 
upon the matter afterwards, the Board of Trade 
becomes liable in damages, is it not so ? Yes ; 
but the surveyors have a knack of thinking of 
their own skins first, and of course a surveyor 
who had been guilty of simply a little mistake in 
judgment would feel that he was under a ban 
for having done this. 

1015. Quite so; so that it is a deterrent? 

101 G. It is, as I understand you to say, a distinct 
deterrent to the inspectors to do their full duty ; 
that they are afraid if they detain ships and 
damages are the result, the Board will disapprove 
of them ? Yes ; they would feel it any way 
whether the Board did so or not : probably the 
Board would not, but every inspector would feel 
that it did. 

1017. And you think that that hampers in- 
spectors in the execution of that particular du ty 
of retaining ships which they think are not tit 
for sea ? Yes. At the present time nearly all 
detention is done by instruction that is to say 
the Board of Trade surveyors have either written 
or unwritten rules for their guidance in all these 
matters, and so long as they are acting in 
ascordance with those rules they know they are 
not liable to anv blame from their superiors; 
and unless they liad some instructions on this 
subject so that they could feel that they had the 
approval of those above them, I do not think 
they would act. 

1018. Then, in regard to that matter of insur- 
ance, would it not be extremely difficult for any 
company which issues its own policies to pre- 
scribe anything which would meet such objec- 
tions as you have boon putting without a light 
load line or something equivalent ? I do not 
see how they could, my Lord, without they had 
the same rule. I agree with you that is a diffi- 

1019. I understand so ? I have no doubt 
that the underwriters themselves (with some of 
whom I have spoken) feel that they would like 
these things put right. The difficulty now is to 
say what is " sufficiently laden." 

1020. What I want to get from you rather is,- 
whether you are of opinion that underwriters 
could not in their policies lay conditions down 
that would be practically useful by themselves 
without something in the shape of a load lino ? 
The only rule fliey could lay down Avould be 
one which "would be open to question every time 

H 2 t''^" 



1 1 Mitrch iy03. j 

Mr. Seatox, M.i.c.E. 

[('out in ncii. 

Lord Shmid continued. 

a case came up; it would hnvc to be in such 
general terms that it would alway.s have to be a 
question to be settled ^what was sufficient for 
tnat particular case. 

1021. So that it is hardly possible to have in- 
surances on that footing ? No. 

1022. You said something which I did not 
follow, not boinjj acquaintea with the matter so 
much as my noble friends arovmd me to the 
effect that it would bo an advantage to the owners 
in the way of a reduction of tonnage if certain 
things were permitted ; what does that mean / 1 
do not quite know what it nieant ? The ship is 
taxed on her net tonnage. 

1023. It is a matter of ta.xation ? Yes, she is 
taxed on her net tonnage, and that net tonnage 
is arrived at in a very curieus way. If the spaces 
for the engines and boilers and for the light and 
air apertures to them, and certain other places 
(the crew space and so on) amount to over 7 per 
cent, of the gross tonnage of the ship, the Legis- 
lature allows a reduction of 32 per cent. off. 

1024. In what class of tax do you mean they 
allow that ? For lights and dues, and all charges 
that the ship is liable to, except in the Suez 
Canal ; that Company will have a measurement 
of their own. 

1025. It is not upon the building of the ship ? 
Oh, no ; it is what she is taxed afterwards. 

1026. In the rates on the ship, the lights and 
so on ? Yes, that is a very serious matter to the 
shipowner. In modem days the ship builder 
who can produce a ship with the least net 
tonnage is looked upon as a very superior 
man; in point of fact some ships would have a 
negative tonnage if the authorities really acknow- 
ledged such things. 

1027. The reason for the difference then be- 
tween the old ships, which you say had a much 
greater power ot displacement, and the new 
ones, is the system of now building with as little 
"weight in the ship as you possibly can ? Yes. 

1028. That, 1 understand, to be the difference. 
Under the old system, years ago, people were 
much safer with under-ballasting than they are 
now ? Yes ; there was never a question raised 
about it. 

1029. The question of under-ballasting has 
been coming up in later years ? Yes. 

1030. Much more so, indeed, than before '. 

1031. WTien did that change markedly begin ? 
Of course, it was beginning with the iron ship ; 
then steel came into general use about 1880. 
Up to that time ships had been built of iron ; 
Lloyds permitted for the superior material a 
reduction of 20 per cent. 

1032. WTiat do Vou call " the superior ma- 
terial ?" Steel. In the iron ship plates in those 
days the highest tensilestrcngth was about 18 to 20 
tons; the Siemens-Martin steel as then intro- 
duced had a " tensile " of about 26 to 28, and 
even as high as 30 tons. The consequence was 
that Lloyds permitted a reduction of scantling 
e(iual to about 20 per cent. 

1033. And that took a great deal of weight 
off the vessel, I suppose ? Yes, I think it was 
at that time estimated that the net reduction 
was about 14 per cent, in the weight of the .ship. 
Tlu n there have been crsao changes in form. 

Lord Slmnd continued. 

For example, the first ship I quoted, the "St. 
Ronans." lier co-efficient is 7 that is to say. 
her dis])lacement is 70 per cent, of the rectan- 
guliu- block of the .same dimensions, whereas in 
the other ship it is 78 per cent. That added 
percentage makes a great deal of difference. 

1034. You are not able to tell us anvthing 
about the extent to which life luis been lost in 
consequence of light loading, are you ? I have 
no statistics at all. I read the papers, of course, 
and I notice these things. 

1035. But the Board of Trade have much 
better power to give that information ? Yes. 

1 ()3(). I understood you to .say that in a great 
many of cases vou Avere .satisfied that in 
consequence of under "ballasting the shafts were 
severely injured and broken, and that danger 
occurred in consequence of that ? Yes, the .snip 
is, of course, absolutely disabled then. 

1037. The propeller being out of the water 
from time to time, strains the shaft and tends to 
alarm, I suppose, those who have the manage- 
ment ot the boat, and to give them a very bad 
time ? Yes. 

1038. Now did you satisfy yourself that 
imder-ballasting in those many cases that you 
investigated was the cause of the breaking of 
the shafts ? Oh, yes, undoubtedly. 

1039. You made an investigation into that 
matter and were quite satisfied ? Yes, because 
before we could apply a remedy we had to "be 
satisfied as to the cause. We had to be very 
careful on that point. At that time there wa.s 
another theory, therefore we had to go into the 
matter pretty closely. The other theoiy was 
that it was due to steel shafts and to cheap steel 
shafts, and so on ; in fact there were also other 
theories. We came to the conclusion, in fact avc 
found, that there were just as many iron shafts 
as steel, that many of the shafts which broke 
were beyond reproiich, some of them quite new. 
and so on. The cause that seemed to be common 
to the whole lot was under-loading. 

Lord Wolvertov. 

1 040. I think you have said in your evidence 
that at the present moment the English ship 
owner is rather at a disadvantage compared with 
the foreign shipowner ; he has to have all sorts 
of regulations and rules that the foreigner has 
not to put up with ? Yes. 

104l' In the third term of our reference here 
we find these words, " If so to what extent any 
such alteration of the law could be made equally 
applicable to foreign vessels " ? Yes. 

1042-3. Do you think it would be possible to 
make it applicable to foreign vessels trading in 
our ports i I think so. At the present time if a 
foreigner comes into your port and breaks the law 
of the land, he is dealt with there, for instance if 
his sailors get drunk they are fined just as the 
Englishmen are fined ; or if the captain himself 
is guiltv of a breach of any of the bye-laws 
of "the ' port or docks, and also if he is 
guilty of any breach of the Pilotage Rules of the 
district, he is liable to the law of the laud. It 
seems to me there is no reason why he should 
not be equally liable in respect to loading, either 

under or over. 

1044. Of 



11 March 1903.] 

Mr. Seaton, m.i.c.e. 


Lord Wolverton continued. 

1044. Of course ho is not affected by the prin- 
ciple of marking ? The foreigner is not no. 
The result is you see, to him, that he can load 
very much deeper. 

1045. You do not think if you took these 
steps that are proposed, there might be what is 

called retaliation on the part of the foreigner ? 

I do not think he could retaliate. 

1046. You do not think anything of that kind 
is going to operate ? I do not thmk he could 
touch us. 

1047. Then you think it would be quite easy 
to apply ihis to foreign vessels ? You know, as 
a matter of fact, the Germans do apply their 
rules to our ships, and at two or three ports 
from which we carry passengers, very seriously, 
and the United States do so too ; especially those 
two countries, hit us very hard, because their engi- 
neering rules differ from ours. I remember. one 
case in which it was virtually impossible to get 
a Board of Trade certificate and a German certifi- 
cate, because the one .Siud you should have cocks 
for the stand pipes of the water gauges, and the 
other said you should not. 

1048. In your opinion, as you say, the British 
ships are already hampered, do you think it is a 
time now to put any more restrictions on them ? 
If I thought it was going to be a matter of loss 
to the owner, I should hesitate before saying 
much that I have said to- day; but I think it is 
mistaken economy to send ships to sea under- 

1048. Taking the years 1901 and 1902, only 
four ships went ashore in ballast; I do no^t 
think it was quite brought home that it was due 
to under ballasting even in those four cases ? I 
am not prepared to say anything about that. As 
I say, I have taken no note of the actual sta- 
tistics, therefore I will take it from your Lordship 
that that is correct. 

1050. You would not call that a great many, 
would you, considering the tonnage that leaves 
these ports ? No, but still in the old days there 
were really very few cases of overloading. The 
Plimsoll agitation was a very noisy one, but the 
general shipowner did not overload; it was for 
the few that did that the legislation came in. 

1051. From the evidence we have heard we 
are inclined at least I am inclined to think 

that this is decrea.sing this question of light- 
loading : that is to say, that ships do not go to 
sea in such bad trim as thev did ; is that voiir 
opinion ? No, it is the other way. Freights 
now are exceedingly bad. and the temptation is 
rather the other way. 

1052. Freights are very bad, are they ? Very 
bad indeed. You see it rarely happens that the 

-outward freight to a foreign port is good, at the 
same time as the freight homeward is good ; and 
if the freight homeward is good and the ship 
happens to be coming, say from the River Plate, 
ithere is always a tendency for the owner to say, 
T'l will run tlie ship out as quickly as I can get 
here; I will not bother to put even a bit of coal 
ftrco on board, for it barely pays to load and 

1053. Then I take it from vou that freights 
re very bad now, and that stiipoAvners are not 

aoing a very profitable business is that so ? 

Lord Wolverton continued. 
1054. Therefore the introduction of any extra 
regulation might be (what is called) felt very 
seriously ? It it increased the cost. Of course 
that is why I should hesitate to make it com- 
pulsory ; but 1 think myself it is a case of com- 
pulsion for the man's own good. 



1055. You mentioned some suggestions for 
dealing with this question of under-ballasting 
or insufficient ballasting, and among them you 
suggested that certain conditions should bo in- 
serted in the policies of underwriters, and you 
mentioned particularly Lloyds as to other 
matters. Now, can jou say at all, taking Lloyds, 
how far their influence extends over tramp 
ships ; would they have an influence over nearly 
all these ships ? You mean the underwriters ? 

1056. I mean unless they applied (so to put 
it), generally your conditions would be of very 
little use. ^hat is what I want to get at ? Yes, 
I think most of the ships are, if not wholly, 
partially underwritten at Lloyds. 

1057. But there are other underwriters besides 
Lloyd's ? Oh, yes ; there are underwriters in 
Liverpool and Glasgow and Newcastle, and so 
on, but the bulk of that work is done in London. 

1058. The bulk is ? Yes. 

1059. Then do you say that the influence of 
Lloyds extends over nearly all the tramps, is that 
so ? I should think so. 

1060. You cannot tell positively ? You see 
the offenders as regards these tramp ships (if I 
may so call them), are single ship companies, or 
they belong to small companies owning only two 
or three ships, and ships that are not engaged in 
a regular trade. 

1061. Then there are insurance clubs, are not 
there ? Yes. 

1062. If you laid down those conditions by law 
upon Lloyds, and others, would you extend them 
to all insurance clubs besides Lloyds ? -- I should 
say the clubs would follow Lloyds ; they gener- 
ally do. The clubs are not so important now as 
they used to be in bygone days. The clubs 
with things more like small damage ; they fill 
up the chinks and crannies that a Lloyds 
policy does not cover. 

1063. Then there is some other bod}', I see 
from a note which has been put into my hand 
the Bureau Veritas : what is that ?^The Bureau 
Veritas is what you may call the French Lloyds' 
Registry. At the present time ships are what 
are called classed by registry ; that is to say, it is 
a voluntary association existing by no Act of 
Parliament or by any charter. They undertake 
the surveying of ships during building, and they 
require them to be built by rules which they 
have laid down, and they do sundry other things 
of that kind. They survey the ships afterwards 
to see that they are in a fit state to carry goods 
to all parts of the world ; and at one time the 
only- body doing that was our old English Lloyds 
Lloyds' Registry. 

1064. Lloyds' Registry ? Yes. Then .some 
years ago a rival registry started at Liverpool, 
the Liverpool underwriters determined to have 
one of their own. That existed for some years 
and was finally amalgamated with Lloyds. Then 




LI March 100:}.] 

Mr. Seaton, m.i.c.e 


Chairman continued. 

the French started a registry of their own, which 
is called the Bureavi Veritas. 

1065. Oh, that is French, is it ? Yes. They 
do mostly with French ships ; at the same time 
the French shipowners very often have their 
ships classed at Lloyds, and sometimes both 
at Lloyds and the Bureau ^'eritas. Then the 
Scotchmen started a registry some eight or ten 
years ago, called the British Corporation, whose 
headquarters are at Glasgow ; they are to some 
extent rivals to Lloyds ; they have their rules 
and regulations, register book, and so on, 

1066. Is the work done by all these, several 
societies that you mention, done in order to 
safeguard the interest of the underwriters ? 
The interest of the underwriters, that was the 
original object. 

1067. And they classify ships ? Yes, and they 
not only classify the ships, but they survey 
them during the whole of their lives. They 
have periodic examinations of each ship, and on 
the result of those examinations the ship either 
retains or loses her class. 

1068. Howis that notified and registered ? By 
marks in the book. 

1069. By marks in the ship's book or Lloyds' 
book ? The highest class a ship can get in 
Lloyds is that of lOOA ; if she lias the figure 
" 1 ' following that it means that her equipment 

jhest class, and that she is fit to 
perishable goods to all parts of the 

IS of the hi^ 
carry dry anc 

1070. Does she get any benefit in the way of 
premiums over other ships ? The vmder^vriter 
would always look it up to see that the ship had 
that class. If she had a lower class it would in- 
fluence him in the rate he would charge ; but 
these tramp boats are all " 100 Al " as a rule. 

Lord Shand. 

1071. Still ihe classification you speak of 
varies the rate of insurance ? Yes. 


1072. Do these various associations have 
much influence in settling where the deep load 
line goes on a sliip ? Oh, yes ; by Statute 
" Lloyds' " has a sort of license for fixing the load 
line m accordance with the law. 

1073. Lloyds' alone ? Lloyds' Register, The 
Bureau Veritas have, I think, as well. They are 
permitted to do it. 

1074. And the British Corporation, too ? I 
think so yes. 

1075. They are entrusted with the duty of the 
fixing of the deep load line ? Yes ; so that an 
owner could apply to either of these, or he could 
apply direct to the Board of Trade. Supposing 
I have a ship and she is built and ready for sea 
and I want a load line fixed, I can either ask the 
Registry under which the ship has been built to 
fix it, or I can apply direct to the Board of Trade. 

1076. All these different societies Lloyds' and 
these other difterent Registrys try to really 
cover all the ships sailing as tramps? Yes; 
ships all over the world. 

Chairnuin continued. 

1077. Therefore, by my conditions, they would 
be willing to adopt eitlier imposed by Parlia- 
ment or voluntarily they would be able to 
effect very much this question of insufficient 
ballast ? Yes. 

Lord Wolverton. 

1078. May I just correct one question that I 
put ; I asked you a question which I answered 
myself. In the year 1900 and 1901 I stated to 
the Committee that four ships foundered at sea ; 
I find that I exaggerated the number; there 
were only two. It is only a correction of my 
own, I should have said that only two ships 
foundered ? The gi-cat danger is not founder- 

1079 Stranding? It is stranding eight 
ships were stranded. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

1080. I should like to ask some questions with 
regard to what you said in reply to Lord Shand's 
questions. I think you indicated that in tlie 
event of ships carrying a certain amount of 
additional ballast in their water tanks some re- 
duction in tonnage might be alloAved ? Well, I 
did not quite put it in that way, my Lord. If 
they had fixed tanks that is to say, if the ship 
had, built into it, ballast tanks which might be 
used as holds for cargo, but which were built 
primarily as ballast tanks in order that the ship 
should be sufficiently loaded down, some con- 
sideration in the way of reduction of tonnage 
should be made to compensate for that. 

1081. Would the result of that not be that 
the loss of dues incurred thereby in different 
ports and harbours (having regard to the ten- 
dency that exists nowadays) thej-^ would ivy and 
get back in some other way ? It would not be 
such a severe thing for them as the present re- 
duction for light and air space and propelling 
space. You see when they have arrived at a 
certain percentage, they are actually allowed oft' 
at one and three-quarter times the rate ; if it is 
20 per cent, they are allowed 35 per cent, re- 
duction ; if it is 40 per cent they are allowed 
70 per cent, reduction. 

1082. But many ports and harbours are trving 
to get that changed as it is, are they not ? Yes ; 
that is quite true. They see that shipowners 
and shipbuilder have circumvented them by 
means of this Act ; in fact, I pointed out in a Com- 
mittee Room of the House of Commons some 
years ago, over a dock question, that, in my 
opinion, the failure of the docks to be profitable 
was due to the tact that the tonnage laws had 
made the ships all, apparently, much smaller 
than they were that, whereas, at that time, ships 
were nearly double in size what thev were pre 
viously they were now computed at only about 
half the tonnage. 

1083. So that any further allowance would 
have a still further tendency to cause the autho- 
rities of docks and harbours to object ? Yea. 
Of course they would liave to amend their rates,, 
or get Parliament to permit them to amend, so> 
as to make them pay. 

The witness Is directed to withdraw. 



11 March 1903. 

Captain HENRY LEWIS BEYNON is called in ; and Examined, as follows : 


1084.. Would you state in what capacity you 
come before us ? As a master mariner. I hold 
a certificate as a master mariner, and also a 
license as a SAvansea Sea Pilot -v Channel Pilot. 

1085. A Swansea Pilot, are you ? Yes. 

1086. Could you say how long you have been 
employed in those capacities ?^My experience 
as a master mariner was ten years. 

1087. How. long have you been a pilot ? Five 

1088. Perhaps you will state to the Committee 
what you wish to bring before them ? In 1892 
I was master of a steamer of about 900 tons 
gross. This is a particular case, my Lord. I 
was off the coast of Portugal with a light 
steamer ; we experienced very heavy weather, 
westerly weather and were in imminent peril 

of being cast ashore on Cape St. Vincent ; 
fortun-ately the wind shifted to the north-west, 
and enabled me to get round the Cape instead 
of blowing on the Cape. 

1089. Was your ship in ballast at the time ? 
In ballast. The ship was perfectly helpless in 
consequence of not having sufficient grip'in the 

1090. Will you state why she was so light ? 
She had not sufficient ballast. 

1091. You, I suppose, were responsible, as 
master, for having sufficient ballast ? To a 
certain extent I was responsible. 

Lord Slmnd. 

1092. AVhy not to the full extent ? Because 
the ship was fitted out with water tanks, and 
the water ballast, in my opinion, was not 
sufficient to enable the ship to encounter rough 


1093. But ships witli water tanks can take in 
other ballast ? They can. 

1094. It was not your habit to do that ? No. 

1095. Did you thmk yourself that you were in 
a safe condition when you left the port ? Well, 
had I had tine weather the ship would have been 
safe, but I experienced very rough weather after 
leaving the port. 

1096. You are never sure of always being 
able to make your voyage in rough weather ? 
Had I made an application for ballast I would 
have been told by the owner that I was a man 
of many fads, and of course my position would 
have been in peril. 

1097. You thought it was no use making 
representation to the owners, is that so ? ^I 
thought so. 

1098. Had you ever made a representation 
before and been refused ? No, I had not. 

1099. Will you go on please ? In another 
ship that I was master of, I left liristol in the 
month of September bound to another part of 
the Bristol Channel to load cargo. 

1100. \Vhen was that what date? That 
would be about 1898. 1 got down as far as 
Nash Lights and the weather increased (strong 

Chairma 'i continued, 
westerly winds) and the ship became unmanage- 
able; I was obliged to return to Barry Roads and 
take shelter until the weather moderated. 

1101. She, too, was light ? Yes, my Lord ; she 
was a light ship. I was in another ship in the 
Atlantic, 3,000 tons gross, in stormy weather. 

1102. When, what date ? March, 1896. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

1103. Are these sailing ships or steamers ? 
Steamers. On the two previous voyages I had 
made the run between Avonniouth and NeAv 
York in 12 days ; on this particular passage I 
was 32 days getting to Boston. 


1104. Thirty-two days ? Yes, I got as far as 
the banks of Newfoundland and then the 
weather increased, stormy weather set in and 
the ship drifted back something like 700 miles. 

Lord J\fusJcerry. 

1105. Had she been properly ballasted you 
would have held your own I suppose ? I should 
have held my own. The ship would not steer, 
and the machinery the propeller raced to 
such an extent that it was dangerous to keep 
going at it. 


1106. l)o the same remarks apply to this ship 
as to the first, as to your own, responsibility as 
master for it being properly ballasted ? Yes. 

1107. You got in safely in the end? Even- 

1108. Have you anything further to state ? 
Coming to the duties of my present occupation 
as a pilot I may say that I nave had a oetter 
opportunity of taking notice of ships when they 
are light than I had m my previous experience. 

Lord Shand. 

1109. Where are you a pilot ? In the Bristol 
Channela-Swansea pilot. I find it is very difficult 
with a light ship entering or leaving the port of 
Swansea as a pilot to keep my proper course or 
maintain my position on the right side ol the 
channel, and we have to resort very often to the 
use of tugs. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

1110. Are you speaking of steamers or sailing 
ships ? Steamers all the time. Of tank steamers 
my experience has been that they can sub- 
merge the ship to such an extent that we find no 
difficulty whatever in making our own course. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1111. Oil tanks? Oil tank steamers. They 
can use their oil tanks as water tanks. They 
can fill those tanks with water, which in my 
opinion makes the ship more seaworthy. ^ I have 
known light steamships cast ashore in Swansea 

^ 1112. Not 



11 ii/<i7r// iyu;{.j 

Captain H. L. Beyxon. 



1112. Not under your charge? Not under 
my charj'e. 

1113. How do you account for that? By 
their being insufficiently ballasted the ship.s 
expose such a large side to the wind that they 
simply drift and are absolutely luinianageable. 

1114. Could you give any number of cases ? 
Within the last three weeks I know of two 
steamers which got into difficulties during the 
heavy weather we had. I may draw attention 
to the Mumbles lifeboat disaster. I believe that 
had the steamer they went to the rescue of 
been properly ballasted, would have entered the 
port of rort Talbot, and not have required the 
assistance of the lifeboat. 

1115. I suppose there are cases in which 
disasters occur to ships which are properh' 
ballasted by reason of bad navigation or from 
some other cause ? In this case it was not due 
to navigation, but simply to the fact of the ship 
becoming immanageable when approaching the 
harbour, and because of that she was cast on a 
lee shore. 

1116. Had you seen the ships of which you 
speak before tney left the harbour ? No ; the}' 
were bound to the port, of Port Talbot. 

1117. From your own observation it is your 
opinion that it is from insufficient balla.sting 
that they were stranded ? It is. 

IIIR. Were there any lives lost? Only the 
lifeboat's crew. 

Lord Mnskerry. 

1119. And that was practically due to the 
stranding, was it not, because if she had not 
stranded the lifeboat would not have gone off? 
That is so. 

Lord Wolvevton. 

1120. That case is sub jiulice noyf , {a it not; 
it has not been tried, has it ? It has been 

1121. Was that the finding of the Court ? 


1122. You have not got the finding of the 
Court, have you ? No, I have not. 

1123. But the loss of life in the case of the 
life boat was not caused by the life boat being 
improperly ballasted ? Oh, no. I have had 
very great opportunity of speaking to ship 
masters in this five years' experience as a pilot, 
and I find that then- views are very simikr to 
those I have already expressed, that ships at the 
present day (the present day tramp) are certainly 
unseawortny when boisterous weather arises. 

Lord Skand. 

1124. When in ballast ? When in ballast. 


1125. Then what is your remedy for this; 
what do you think ought to be done ? Really 
it would not be right for me to suggest, because 
I really believe that I should back up the idea 
of this deep tank business, that has given the 
ship more hold in the water, that would sub- 
merge the ships to a greater extent than they 
are at the present day. 

Chairman continued. 

1126. Then how would vou enforce having 
these big tanks ? f should suggest the tank 
nearest tho midship part of the vessel being 
equipped and ready to be used at all times in of an emergency not that a ship would 
require to use that tank under ordinary circimi- 
stances, but only in Ciusc of being caught on a 
lee shore that there should be a certain tank 
kept in reserve that could be availed of, and that 
would submerge that ship to a very large extent 
so that her propeller woidd would become effec- 
tive and also the rudder of the ship. 

1127. AMiat do you say about the proposal 
that there should be a lighl load line ? "rhat, 
my Lord, I would rather leave to experts. 

1128. You do not want to give an opinion 
upon that ? No. 

1129. Have you any other evidence you Avant 
to give ? I have nothing more, only I am fidly 
convinced in my own mind that many of the 
casualties that occur in the case of light ships 
that go away from this country and never arrive 
at their destination, or lose their propcllei-s occur 
by reasons of their going away with insufficient 

1130. Have you got any figures to show the 
number ? I have a rough note here which siiys 
that it amounts to 116 casualties, but onlv 30 
of those in ballast suffered ; but, of course, tliose 
are cases where we have heard from the crews. 
This says nothing of ships that have left our 
ports and never returned ; light ships, I mean. 

Lord Wolverton. 

1131. Is this lie in one year ? For last year. 
116 casualties, and 30 of those I consider were 
ballasted ships, steamers in ballast. 


1132. Have j'ou any other statistics of the 
same sort ? No. 

1133. Do you know a good deal about the 
opinion entertained among the masters of these 
ships on this subject ? I do. I have met and 
conferred with many ship masters in the course 
of my duties. 

1134. And do they generally agree with you 
that the cause of the disaster is very often in- 
sufficient ballast ? Thev do emphatically. 

1135. It is universalh' admitted, I suppose, 
that a light ship insufficiently ballasted is not 
manageable in very bad weather is that wliat 
you mean ? That it is, in fact, absolutely un- 


Lord Shand. 

1136. The ballast you speak of water ballast 
must it be put on board before sailing from 
the port of sailing, or can they use water ballast- 
ing in the course of their voyage in any way I 
They can. That is why I suggest, my Lord,* that 
a tank should be used. 

1137. Then I understand you to say that, even 
if the vessel leaves with these tanks empty, she 
can, in the course of her voyage (if necessity 
arises), take in ballast in the shape of water 
ballast? That is what I mean; they are filled 
from the sea in the same way that you would fill 
vour water Ijallast tanks before leaving port. 

i;i3.S. Just, 



11 Afarch VMS.] 

Captain H. L. Beynon. 


Lord Shand continued. 

1138. Just the same, filled from the sea? 
Just the same. 

Viscount Ridley. 

1139. You say you have had a good deal of 
tiilk with other master mariners ; have you sug- 
gested this proposal of yours to them, and is 
that their view ? It is their view. 

1140. I should like to ask a question about the 
special occasion in which you say you were 32 
days going to America : what happened between 
you ond the owner after that. I mean to say 
did the owner find out that it was in consequence 
of insufficient ballast he had lost all the money 
consequent upon that delay ? He did. The 
owner was good enough to meet me in Boston 
he came down in a tug. This was after the ship 
passed Cape Cod. The owner at the time was 
m America ; he engaged a tug and came down 
to Boston Harbour (United States of America), 
and asked me what was wrong with the ship ; I 
told him everything was all right, only that we 
had had very heavy weather. Before leaving 
America the owner asked me if I had any sug- 
gestions to make what could possibly be done 
to prevent the ship racing and tumbling about 
in the manner I have already explained. I gave 
him my version, the same as I have already 
explained to your Lordships about this tank 
about the hold being set aside in as near as pos- 
sible the midship section of the ship to bring 
the water up sufficiently so as to ease the ship 
in her rolling and labouring propensities. I 
believe in fact I am almost certain that in 
constructing the ship they were then talking 
about they nad a tank fittecl. 

1141. In this particular vessel ? In this par- 
ticular vessel. 

1142. Did you sail again in that vessel ? I 

1143. In ballast ? Yes. 

1144. Under the same circumstances 1 Just 
the same. 

1145. With no extra tanks ? With no extra 

1146. You were satisfied to do that ?- -I was 
obliged to, in a certain sense. 

1147. You felt yourself obliged to do it ? It 
was either to do it, or leave and get someone 
else to do it. 

Viscount Ridley continued. 

1148. I suppose your owner must have lost a 
good deal of money in consequence of your 
delay ? He would lose certainly by the venture. 

1149. By that venture ? Yes. 

1150. Yet that did not open his eyes to doing 
something better the next time the vessel started 
on her voyage ? Not to go to the expense of 
renovating the ship or making the ship as I 
would suggest. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

1151. In regard to the two vessels that you 
say you saw go ashore lately, do you know of 
your own knowledge what ballast they had in 
them ? No, I could not tell you. 

1152. So it was only just your idea ; you say 
they had insufficient ballast ? Yes. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1 153. Lord Ridley asked you about that voyage 
across the Atlantic ; next time you went out did 
you take any more ballast or just the same ? 
After that I was engaged running down to the 
West Indies. That was my last voyage across the 
Atlantic in that ship. 

1154. You know the coast I suppose very well 
from Longships up to Lundy ? I do. 

1155. Are you also out in pilots' steam cutters- 
and so on at times ? We have a steam cutter. 

1156. Then you see the traffic in the Bristol 
Channel passing ? I do. 

1157. Do you think these under-ballasted 
steamers arc fit to go between Trevose Head and 
Longships with a lee shore in a strong gale? 
Their chance would be very remote if caught 
on a lee shore. ^^ -s 

1158. And I suppose if they went ashore there 
would be very small chance for the lives of the 
crew ? A very poor chance. It is a very steep 

1169. That would apply all the way up to 
Lundy, would it not ? I do not suppose an un- 
der-laken ship could make Padstow ? No, you 
could not get into Padstow with any-sized ship. 

1160. All that coast from Falmouth up would 
be dangerous to an under-laden ship ? Right 
up to Cardiff. 


1161. Is there anything more you want to say f 
No, my Lord. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 

Adjourned for a short time. 

Mr. GEORGE F. MASON is called in ; and Examined, as follows : 


1162. Will you state for the Committee's 
information in what capacity you appear here ? 
I am a Member of the Institute of Naval 
Architects of the North East Coast Institute of 
Shipbuilders and Engineers, and of the Marine 
Engineers Institute. I have had 30 years experi- 
ence in the designing, constructing and working of 
.steam-ships, and for some years studied the ques- 


Ch lirman continued. 

tion of the great increase in breakdowns of shaft- 
ing at sea ; the evidence I was able to obtain, in my 
opinion conclusively pointed to the prevalent 
custom of sending ships to sea drawing too 
little water, and with the propellors not much 
more than half immersed. I give for example 
two years breakdowns as far as I could get them 
viz. : in the year 1898, which had more than its 
I share 



11 March 1903.] 

Mr. Mason. 


Chairman continued 

share of bad weather, I found 175 accidents to 
shafting and propellors ; 104 of these occurred 
to vessels actually in ballast trim at the time, of 
the rest only six were not employed in ballast 
trim. In the ycHr 1901, ray record shows 140 
accidents to slmt'tinp, 40 of these occurred to 
vessels in actiuil ballast, and of the remainder 
85 were freciuontly taking ballast nms; 12 of 
these were not more than two years old. I have 
seen numbers of vessels (which when loaded 
would carry 6,000 to 7,000 tons) proceeding to 
sea in ballast with little more than half of their 
propellers in the water, and not drawing more 
than 5 to 6 feet forward. These ships being 
in anything but good ordinary weather, practi- 
<5ally unmanageable; and in bad weather it is a 
common thing for the slip of their propellors to 
rise from 6 per cent, and 7 per cent, up to 
75 per cent, and 80 per cent. 

1163. Where have you seen these yourself? 
In the logs. I am a surveyor and naval archti- 
tect and I get these log books passed on to me 
in the case of surveys. 

Lord Muskerry, 

1164. That is the engineers log book you are 
referring to ? Yes. " I have known instances 
of vessels in the above trim being bodily blown 
out to sea, and in other cases where the ships 
have had to steam full speed astern to prevent 
them being blo^vn ashore ; in some cases the 
master of the ship has had to take the extreme 
course of running water into his after holds 
nearly up to the tunnel top to enable him to 
.steam off a lee shore, it being found impossible 
to keep the vessel's head to windward. Under 
these conditions the shafting is put to an abnor- 
mal strain, and through the engines racing so 
much, shaft fractures nave become an every day 
occurrence, and Lloyds Registry only recently 
foimd it advisable to increase the scantling of 
propeller shafts over 30 per cent., as Mr. Seaton 


1165. Yes; that he was giving us evidence 
upon that point ? This was an inquiry previous 
to thai resolution. 

Lord Wolverton. 

1166. When was that ; about three years ago 
was it not ? About three years ago. " One 
reason for this unsatisfactory state of affairs has 
been the great alterations to the form of 
the ordinary cargo steamers during the 
last 12 to 14 years. Vessels built previously to 
this had fairly fine lines with good rise of floor 
and vnth an allowapce of water ballast of say 
one- tenth their dead weight capacity, had their 
propellers fairly well immersed, being in conse- 
quence able to make good passages and proceed 
to sea in good manageable condition ; but since 
then cargo vessels have been built with much 
coarser lines, fuller co-efEcient, and little or no 
rise or floor, drawing much less water in pro- 

Eortion and carrying more cargo, the result 
eing that with one-seventh to one-eighth 
of their dead weight capacity allowance for 
water ballast the boss of their propellers has 
been barely immersed and the vessels drawing 

Lord Wolverton continued. 

proportionately less forward, causing the troubles 
before referred to. I have always made it a 
practice of putting additional ballast in the 
shape of sand or rubbish or extra bunkere on 
board when sending a vessel to sea, keeping the 
weights as high up as possible, with the result 
of mvariably making good pH.ssages and re- 
ceiving no damage to machinery. I never send 
a ship to sea with less than one-third to one- 
fourth of her dead weight capacity. On many 
occasions such ships have made good passages 
when the majority of other ballasted vessels 
bound for the same ports have had to return 
unable to keep at sea. I find the average type 
of vessel built 14 to 15 years ago carrj'ing about 
4,000 tons, had about one-tenth, say, fiom 400 
to 500 tons, of this weight for vater ballast draw- 
ing about 23'6 mean loaded, and when in ballast 
about 11 feet forward and 14 aft with per- 
manent bunkers of some 350 tons aboard. 
The vessel of the present day of the same 
type carrying 6,000 tons and over (the ten- 
ciency having been all round to increase 
in size) has from 800 to 900 tons, say, one- 
seventh of her dead weight for water-ballast, 
and with a similar allowance for bunkers, only 
draws from 5 to 6 feet forward and 9 to 
10 feet aft, allowing 17 feet for diameter of 
propeller, this means nearly half of the lattr 
being out of the water. I would not send any 
vessel to sea light unless with one-fourth of her 
dead weight capacity in her and so trimmed that 
the propeller is at least three-fourths immersed, 
and the draught forward not less than half of 
her draught aft. The expense and loss of time 
entailed in taking auxiliary ballast led me to 
see if some other method of carrying water could 
not be devised without interfering with cargo , 
capacity, which could also be applied to old 
vessels at small expense. Increasing the double 
bottom was not advisable for many reasons, 
principally on account of making the ships 
tender when carrying a light homogeneous cargo, 
and I devised a plan which I think is quite 
simple and unobjectionable, viz., of forming the 
'tween decks into auxiliary ballast tanks ; this 
method has the advantage of making the vessel 
much easier at sea, it puts less local stress on 
the hull, docs not interfere with stowage of 
cargo, and enormously strengthens the .snip at 
the weakest part, and it is the cheapest metnod 
of fitting ballast tanks. A steamer just built on 
my plan carrying 6,400 on 246 sailed from 
Sunderland last week on trial at sea in 
ballast and behaved remarkably Avell. She 
had 870 tons in double bottom and peaks 
and in 'tween deck tanks forward 260 tons, aft 
'tween decks 460 1,590 tons in all ; she drew 
16'6 aft, and 8'4| forward, and in this trim I 
consider her fit to go anywhere. With 1,200 
bunkers she drew 130^ forward and 17-4| aft. 
Another vessel now in hand carrying 7,200 tons 
loaded, will have 1,200 tons in double bottom and 
peaks, 800 tons in 'tween decks, and draw lO'O 
forward and 189 aft (draught laden 24'9 mcan)and 
have her propeller totally submerged." I have 
surveyed a good many of these vessels that have 
been damaged when in ballast trim and find 
that very common damage is under the fore- 
foot or the fore end of the ship where the pktes 




11 March 1003.] 

Mr. Mason. 

{Continvwd . 

Lord WolveHon continued, 
are frequently indented, the rivets loose, and the 
tanks, the double bottom, invariably leaking; 
and there is another common place for damage, 
in fact, nearly all these ballast ships when sent 
to sea in the condition I have been pointing out 
if they do not fracture their decks just forward 
and aft of the engine-room space, we nearly 
always find loosen the rivets of the sheer strake 
or fracture it at these places. 


1167. Then have you made up your mind as 
t-^ whether any steps should be taken by the 
Legislature to deal with this question ? I think 
it would be advisable. 

1168. In what way would you deal with it ? 
That 1 would not care to suggest beyond giving 

idea of what I consider should be the 

Viscount Ridley. 

1178. The type is continually altering, is it 
not ? I think it is. ^ 

1179. Probably in the course of five years 
more a better type of ship will be found out at 
bunderland or elsewhere v_That will depend a 
good deal upon the owners. This is rather i an 
expensive ship ; but I must say the practice of 
late years with many owners new owners has 
been to buy the cheapest ship they possibly 
could. They would not look so much at the 
type or the class of the steamer, if I may say so. 
1 hey would say: look at the price; how much 
IS she per ton. What does she cost per ton ? 

1180. I do not want to interrupt you at all, 
but I was going to ask you whether the less' 
draught in the modern ships in proportion to 
their carrying capacity is due so much to the 
greater carrying capacity that they get for the 

you an 

trim of these ves.sels at sea. . _ . . ., 

1169. What has been the result of the expe- ?^y spent on the ship or whether it has any 

.ined about first of all the shafts. Have *^^j^ ^^ ^ ^}^ ^^ ^^P^^^ ^^ ^^e harbours thej 

rience gained 

any steps been taken to alter the shafts ? I 
think it is reallv too soon to say yet. The effect 
of this rule will hardly be apparent yet. The 
rule came in not quite three years ago, really 
it only came into force, I think, about 18 months 
ago, so that it is too soon yet to say what the 
result will be. 

Lord Muakerry. 

1170. You mean the addition of 30 per cent? 

Lord Wolverton. 

1171. I have only one question to ask that is 
about the " Hercules," the ship described as a 
model ship. In the ships that are being built 
now is there a tendency to take into considera- 
tion this question of water ballast ? Very much. 

1172. In all new ships ? The question was 
how to carry it. 

1173. So that you do not agree with some of 
the witnesses we have had before who have told 
us that the old ships ships of ten years ago 
are safer than ships of the present day. You 
have given us a model ship the " Hercules " ? 
They were safer as a rule. You see the old class 
of vessels, with very much less ballast, drew 
more water on account of their fine lines, and 
having a high rise ot floor, they naturally take 
less to put them down. 

1174 You have told us the "Hercules" is a 
model ship, have not you that she fulfils all the 
conditions with regard to ballast ? Yes, she is 
the first of the type. 

1175. Therefore the shipping community are 
alive to the fact that they must be careful about 
their ballast by this new ship as you have told 
us ? Some.of them. 

Lord ShaTid. 

1176. The noble Lord on my right has used 
the term "a model .ship." What would you 
mean by a " model ship " if you were u.sing the 
term ? Do you mean that it is a typo of the 
best kind or ship you can have nowadays ? I 
consider so for an ordinary tramp steamer a 
vessel that is perfectly safe to take to sea in 
ballast trim or when she is loaded. 

1 177. If the proper arrangements for ballast- 
ing are made in her ? Yes. 



to ? The harbour has very little to do 
with It. There are only certain trades, such as 
the Black Sea trade and the River Plate, where 
you may say the ordinary cargo tramp steamer 
is tied to a draught. 

1181. Then I understand you to think that 
there is a real danger in the way in which the 
ships are sent to sea now with insufficient 
ballast ? Yes. 

1182. And that something ought to be done ? 

1183. Whether voluntarily or compulsorily ? 

H84. U|3on that you have not expressed an 
opinion definitely ? No. 

1185. But have you any idea, whether volun- 
tary or compulsory, what kind of rule would be 
the best. I rather gather from your evidence 
that you think you might in all types of ships 
at all events in certain classes of ships lay 
down a certain proportion of the "dead weight 
capacity ? I think so. 

1186. Then if you did that how would you 
propose to do it. It must be done with each 
individual ship, must it not ? Certainly. 

1187. Then would that be done by fixing a, 
mark on the ship which would be in the nature 
of a light load line ? I think that would be the 
simplest way. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1188. You mentioned the practice of running- 
water at least not the practice but that you 
have known water run into the hold hot 
water I suppose that was ovsr the tank tops ? 

1189. Of course I need not ask yoa as an 
expert, that is a very dangerous condition of 
things, is it not ? It is. 

1190. And I suppose every captain (master 
mariner) and every engineer woulcT know what a 
very serious danger that is ? Yes. 

1191. Therefore, bifore he did that, he must 
have known that there was a much greater 
danger in not doing it ? Cercainly. 

1192. A much greater danger ? The only way 
in which he could keep from being blown ashore. 

1193. The only way in which he could save 
the lives of his crew ? That is so. 

12 US'*. That 



11 it'arch 1903.] 

Mr. Mason. 


Lord Muakerry continued. 

1194. That was due to the ship not having 
sufficient ballast ? Yes. 

1195. These cheap ships, of course, are only 
built to sell ? Th'it is so. 

1196. They arc what a witness the other day 
called, "speculiUivc ships," are they not? Or 
builders' snip.s. 

1197. And they are run up without any regard 
to any provisions being made for extra ballast ? 
That is so. 

1198. Am I right in assuming that it is only 
in fact since this agitation about the light load 
line has ben brought forward, that schemes have 
been brought forward to provide for extra ballast 
being carried in the shape of water hvllast, of 
course within the past four years, say ? I 
think it is about the last four years. 

1199. And of course water ballast is the 
cheapest that can be carried ?^Yes. 

Lord Muakerry continued. 

1200. You are perfectly sure there is serious 
risk being run to lives in sailing these vessels 
without sufficient ballast ? Xo doubt about it. 

1201. You had a model I think you told me? 
I have a model of the tanks. 

1202. Of the proposed boats; that is to show, 
is it not, that it will not bo so very expensive ? 
That is it {the Witncjia explains tlie model to their 

Viscount Ridley. 

1203. Who built the " Hercules " ? Osboume 
Graham & Co., of Sutherland. 

Lord Wolverton. 

1204. What size is she ? 6,400 tons. 


1205. You have nothing further to add, have 
you ? No, m}^ Lord. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 

Mr. A. J. MAUNDER called ; and Examined, as follows : 


1206. Will you state what your profession is? 
I have, had nearly 30 years of sea experience, 
13 years in sailing vessels and nearly 17 years in 
steamships. I have been a passed master since 

1207. Are you a master still ? No, I have not 
been to sea for the last three years. I am now 
writing for a Liverpool shipping paper and have 
been for the last three years. I left off going to 
rsea in March 1900. 

1208. But you were for 17 years a master, were 
you ? I was .17 years with a master's certificate, 
out not for the greater part of that time master. 

1209. What is it that you Avish particularly to 
give the Committee evidence upon ? My experi- 
at sea does not offer many tnrilling incidents 
occuring to myself, but it has impressed me on 
account of the casualties and loss of life which 
1 know have taken place. On two or three 
occasions I have had rather close calls myself in 
keeping a ship safe and getting where I wanted 
to take her, when she was in ballast, always from 
Continental ports to the Bristol Channel. The 
first part of my life I was never confronted with 
the ballast question, because I was engaged in 
liners; it was only when I got to the Bristol 
Channel service that the ballast question ever 
troubled me. 

1210. In what way did it trouble you then ? 
In this way ; that "the English Channel is rather a 
tricky place to come down with a ship which you 
cannot always depend upon. I have made 
several passages, both as officer and master, and 
we have always managed to get to the Bristol 
Channel somehow, but there were infinite possi- 
bilities of not getting there; it was almost im- 
possible in hazy and heavy weather to make the 
course good. I was off the Isle of Wight on one 
occasion, I remember very distinctly, after we 
had been struggling down four days from Ham- 
burg, whereas we should have been only about 
two days. When off St. Catherines, which 
is a critical place for meeting ships, almost 

Chairman continued. 

like a main thorou^htare, I got into a crowd of 
snips, some overtaking me, some meeting me, 
and as a matter of fact I could neither get out 
of the way nor had I time to explain to other 
people meeting me that I could not get out of 
the way ; because a ship ballasted like that is 
not permanently unmanageable ; she might be 
manageable for five mitmtes, and might answer 
her helm and yon might think she was going 
on all right, but then she might drop off again 

1211. Was that ship in ballast ? Yes. 

1212. Why was it she carried insufficient 
ballast. Had not you some responsibility and 
the means of checking that? I do not know 
how much responsibility I had, but I had no 
means of checking it. I had the discretion of 
resigning and refusing to take the fesponsibility. 

1213. Could you not order at Hamburg, or 
wherever you were, extra ballast ? If I had 
taken extra ballast without permission, or 
against prrmission, it would have amounted 
to the same thing as if I had resigned ; it would 
have been that practically. 

1214. Your owners would not have agreed to 
such a course, do you mean ? No ; 1 knew 
them sufficiently well and I thought it was not 
worth while to apply to them, because we had 
certain instructions and certain questions on 
which letters must not be writtorf, and that 
subject was amongst them. 

1215. But if it IS a serious loss to them if a 
ship is lost, or lives are lost, why then do they 
disregard the opinion of the master ? A great 
manv times in summer time a ship will come 
round, and if she comes round all right, probably 
they think the risk worth running. 

1216. According to your knowledge are there 
a great many ships under-ballasted at sea ? Of 
that class of ship I should say the majority. I 
cannot consider a ship fully ballasted which carries 
about 4,600 tons dead-weight capacity of cargo 




11 Maroh 1903.] 

Mr. Maunder. 


Chairman continued. 

and bunkers when she has only about 680 tons of 
ballast, which is just sufficient to set the boss of 
the propeller awash ; to attempt to steer her was 
like beating a sailing ship to windward under a 
head sail. 

1217. What other evidence do you wish to 
give the Committee ? Another time I was going 
romul bound for Barry in the Bristol Channel, 
in a ship of the same kind, a coal tramp steamer ; 
the master had given what he thought to 
be a sufficient margin, as for several hours 
he had the Lizard light practically on one 
bearing I think for 11 hours; then the ship 
concluded she would go ahead for a little. 
He gave the Longships an offing of about four 
miles to westward before bringing the wind on 
the beam ; when he brought the wind on the 
quarter it was just pos.sible to hang on somehow, 
but she rolled so that the engineer locked the 
engines up, because he was afraid of his pro- 
peller ; itwas either a question of his unlinking the 
engines and letting her go, running the risk of 
sacrificing the propeller, or going ashore on the 
Brissons. By beanngs we were a little more than 
three miles and a half to the westward of the 
Brissons. When we turned round she had to go, 
to clear about two miles. She was making about 
seven points of leeway; in fact, she was going 
more to leeward than ahead. The engineer of 
course expected his pro^wller to go, and it was a 
question of our risking the propeller or letting 
tne ship go ashore. 

1218. What happened? We passed the 
Brissons at about something less than a third 

of a mile, instead ot three miles. 

1219. The engines were going, of course? 
The engines were going, and luckily the pro- 
peller held on. 

1220. Was that only owing to your insufficient 
ballast ? Entirely. I have also come down in 
another ship, bound from Hull, in ballast, and 
we were eight days making the passage to Cardiff. 
When we got down off Portland (at that time 
I was 2nd officer, not master) the captain 
thought the coal was getting short and we 
might get landed off the Longships, so he 
concluded to put back into Portland. Before 
we could get into the Portland entrance we 
were steering very nicely, but when we got 
far that we were turning for the entrance, she 
refused to go off any further ; in fact, she was so 
nearly on shore that those on board a man-of- 
war watching us from over the breakwater, sent 
out a boat in case we wanted assistance. It was 
a very close call indeed. ISothing could have 
saved the ship if she had gone to leeward another 
150 vards. 

1221. Is there anything further you would 
like to say ? No ; only I do not think anyone 
who has not experienced the anxieties of a ship- 
master in a crowded channel can estirnate the 
imminent risk he is at from time to time, not 
only to himself, but to others. 

1222. What is the remedy for that state of 
things, which you would like to propose ? The 
remedy is to immerse the ship sufficiently so 
that she will have more hold in the water than 
at present. 

1223. How would you bring that about? 
By putting her deeper in the water. 

Ch-iirman continued 

1224. Are you in favour of the light load 
line, as a means of ensuring that ? 1 am in 
favour of any measure that will ensure that. 

1225. Of this particular measure ? Yes, most 
distinctly ; and I have met no practical ship- 
master that has not the same opinion amongst 
those now who go to sea or have really gone to sea. 

1226. They all want some remedy to ensure 
that the ship should not go to sea in insufficient 
ballast, do they ? Yes : they want some remedy 
so that their knowledge of the conditions may be 
of some value to them. A deeply laden ship can 
be humoured by a good seaman ; but in these 
cases it is impossible ; seamanship is at an end, 
and it does not matter whether you are a good 
sailor or a bad one ; it is a matter principally of 

1227. Supposing the people you refer to hold 
this view, nave not they some idea as to the 
remedy they think would be best to overcome 
the difficulty ? The remedy is increasing the 
amount of ballast. 

1228. But how are you to ensure that. That 
is what you say broadly, but how are you to 
ensure increasing the ballast ; do you suggest 
that it should be done by legislation or in- 
surance, or how do you want to see it carried 
out ? If owners of that particular class of ship 
are not sufficientlv impressed with the necessity 
of giving more safety to the ships and their em- 
ployes, I think there should be some authority 
which should insist on their doing so. 

1229. I Want to know whether you can point 
out any particular way of doing it, which you 
think would be best ? There are suuh a lot of 
things a sailor cannot answer. I do not know 
much about the structural parts of ships, and how 
this and that will affect a particular ship, onlv as 
a general principle. I notice that the chief 
point as to these particular ships I have men- 
tioned is, that the screws are not sufficiently deep 
in the water. If the ships were sufficiently deep 
in the water to immerse their propellers, it would 
give their propellers a chance ; but even that is 
done at the expense of trimming them so much 
at the stern that their bows are too light, and 
they pay right off against the helm. 

1230. Can you give the Committee any figures 
showing the number of vessels that go to sea with 
insufficient ballast? No. Inquiries have been 
held, and I have read of a great many cases in 
which inquiries have not been held, but I thought 
perhaps the Committee would be provided with 
those statistics. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1231. Can you suggest any remedy ? Is it not 
within your knowledge that this very light load 
line was put forward by your practical brother 
masters as being the remedy ? Yes. 

1232. And is that what they think is wanted ? 
That is what they want. 

1233. To have aline put on the vessel so that 
surveyors will have no excuse for letting a vessel 
go to sea in unseaworthy trim for want of 
ballast ? Yes. So far as I can gather what the 
shipmasters want is this : as they have no power 
at present thev would like to be relieved of the 
responsibility ;' that there .should be some law 
which would take that responsibility from them, 





XI March 1903.] 

Mr. Maunder. 


Lord Muakerry continued. 

not for it to be said afterwards, if the ship is lost 
or stranded, that ihe captain should have done 
so-and-so, but let it be sottle<l by someone else. 

1234. Do you know it is generally the case in 
these ships coining to grief that the captain has 
been punished ? -I have noticed some cases. 

1235. And that in civses where it has been 
absolutely beyond his power to take sufficient 
steps to avert disaster ? That is a fact. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

1236. In those ships you speak of and have 
had experience of, do you consider they were in 
a condition to be dangerous to life ? Certainly ; 
an unmanageable ship is always dangerous to 
life if only from collision. 

1237. Do you think there is nothing in the 
present law to provide against conditions of that 
sort ? I do not know ot any law. I have left a 
port in ballast but I have never had an inquiry 
as to how much ballast I carried or what was the 
trim of the ship. No one has ever asked me 
" How much ballast have you," or "What is your 
trim, have } ou got enough," or " We do not think 
you have enough. ' 

1238. Is it in your discretion how much ballast 
is put on board ? No. It might be said after- 
wards at the inquiry it was in my discretion. It 
might be that another master had had her for 
five years and had taken her round with a certain 
amount ot ballast and had come out all right ; 
but if I were to take command of that ship and 
could not run her in that way and continually 
bothered my owners they would probably tell 
me I was a man of too nervous a temperament. 

Lord Inverclyde continued. 

1239. Have you ever had men refasc to ship 
with you because they thought your vessel was 
not in a proper state to go to sea ? No, I cannot 
say I have. 

Lord Shand. 

1240. How do you propose to remedy the evil 
of which you complain. Do you desire that ships 
should not bo allowed to leave port if they are 
light ? Yes. 

1241. That a ship that is not properly ballasted 
should not be allowed to leave ? she should no- 
more he allowed to leave port light than she- 
would be if she were found to be overloaded. 

1242. In whose hands do you suggest the- 
power should be, if it were left to some authority 
to deal with the matter ? I do not know ; I 
suppose the same authority which regulates all 
other matters, the Marine Department of the 
Board of Trade. 

1243. If, as has been put to you, there is 
at present sufficient power to prevent ships- 
leaving in that way, do you think that that 
power is exercised ? I believe the law at present 
is that the Board of Trade has power to prevent 
any ship from going to sea w-hich is generally 
unsea worthy, not from any particular cause, but 
any cause. 

1244. Then, in your judgment, do you think 
that that power is not exercised ? I think it is 

1245. So that if there be power to detain 
vessels under the present administration, in the 
way in which things are worked, it is not- 
enforced ? It is not. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 

Me. JOHN SHEARS WYATT is called in; and Examined, as follows: 


1246. What are you ? A master mariner. 

1247. Are you going to sea now ? No. 

1248. Have you given it up ? Yes. 

1249. How long were you a master mariner ? 
Altogether 15 or 16 years. 

1250. Where did you trade ? Pretty well all 
over the world, I think, except in India. 

1251. In what are called " tramp " ships ? In 
tramp steamers mostly. 

1252. "What are you doing now ? I am living 
in Devonshire, at Paignton, now. 

1253. Independently ? Yes. 

1254. You have no profession, now ? No, I 
have no profession now. 

1255. What evidence can you give the Com- 
mittee on this matter ? I should like to give 
you an account of the stranding of the " Syl- 
viana " ? 

1256. What were you in connection with the 
" Sylviana " ? I was master. The steamer was 
about 4 years old, built of steel, length over all 
37 18 feet, and breadth 482 feet, depth to spar 
deck 3011 feet. 

1257. What was her tonnage ? Her gross 
tonnage was 4,18697 tons, and her registered 
tonnage was 2,71468 tons. She had five water 

Chairman continued. 

ballast tanks and fore peak and aft peak in. 
addition, which can be used for water ballast. 
Altogether when the tanks were full there would 
be 1,077 tons of water in her. On December the 
8th, 1901, we left Antwerp in ballast bound for 
West Hartlepool. At the time we had 88'.) tons- 
of water ballast, the fore peak not being full, 
and we had bunker coal, about 80 tons. The 
ship was drawing 12 feet 4 aft and 9 feet 
forward. Those figvires were given at the Board 
of Trade Inquiry, but, actually, I do not think 
the ship was drawing that, because she had not 
been docked for some time, and it was almost 
impossible to tell what she was drawing, looking 
from the quay. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1258. You mean the marks were all washed 
off, do you ? Yes. I do not believe she was 
drawing 9 feet forward ; but these figures were 
given in the log-book by the chief mate. 


1259. What happened to her ? We left in 
ballast on the 8th of December, and we anchored 
at Flushing till the 12th of December. On the 




11 March 1903.] 

Mr. Wyatt. 


Chairman continued. 

12th of December the weather moderated, we 
left Fhishing, but that night it blew a heavy 
gale of wind from the south west, veering to the 
eastward gradually during the following day. On 
the mommg of the 13th the ship would not steer, 
the wind having then got round to the eastward 
and on her side. I went below for a few mo- 
ments, and one of the sailors came rushing down 
to tell me that there was a steamer running into 
us. Then our ship was unmanageable. This 
accident was nearly brought about by our not 
being able to port. The ship would not come 
up in the wind at all. We got clear of that ship 
it was touch and go, as we call it and on the 
night of the 13th we sighted Whitby Light, 
about 15 miles off. We had talked the matter 
over, and I called the chief mate and 
-chief engineer and told them it was 
likely the ship would drive ashore, she being 
unmanageable and driving towards the shore 
very fast, that we had better do something ; and 
we commenced to flood one of the after-holds. 
We took the top of the tank off with the inten- 
tion of filling the hold to the height of the 
tunnel. Then there was another little hold 
besides that, and we got the hose along to fill 
that up. It was to submerge her aft, and we 
tried to do all we could to keep her off the 
land ; but about 9 o'clock on that night all 
the blades of the propeller stripped oft The 
chief engineer reported the propeller was gone. 
I told him to make sure and to let me 
know. Then we stopped the running of the 
water into the holds, and made preparations for 
anchoring when we got into suitable water. 
About 2j miles from the shore we let go both 
anchors. The starboard one carried away 
through the heavy sea, and the veesel took the 
ground and stranded about half-past four on the 
morning of the 14th. Now, my opinion is that 
the propeller broke because the ship was racing 
so, and was not deep enough in the water aft. 
The 12 feet 4 inches the draught given her, would 
only put the boss of the propeller about half way 
in the water. I had told the chief engineer 
before that he must let the engines go as fast as 
he could without doing any damage, because it 
was very likely we were going to drive ashore, 
and in my opinion all those blades stripped oft" 
on accoimt of the ship not being sufficiently 
deep in the water. I have been on many other 
steamers besides that the " Devonia," " Hilde- 
garde," and " Walter Thomas " steamers older 
than that, but still in a moderate gale all those 
steamers became unmanageable. 

Lord Sharul. 

1260. By their not having been sufficiently 
ballasted ? Yes, by not being sufficiently bal- 
lasted and uot sufficiently in the water. What 
I think, although I believe there are not many 
people hold vfith me at present, is that there is 
great danger with these tramp steamers in 
carrying the ballast on deck. The ballast that 
is taken in in addition to the water ballast as a 
rule is placed on deck, beca;use it is convenient 
and cheap to throw it overboard. If it is put in 
between decks and trimmed there, there is 
generally an extra charge for it ; but I believe 
that IS a great danger, especially with such a 

Lord Shand continued, 
steamer as I have been speaking of, the " Syl- 
viana," where you have one great weight at the 
bottom and another about 30 or 40 feet higher 
up. I was at one time lying in Portland Roads 
at anchor on the " Devonia." There was a 
steamer came in there during the night. I 
believe she was called the " Helvetia," belonging 
to Waats Ward. She was unmanageable, and so 
it came out at the trial. The Captain acknow- 
ledged it ; he came in in a gale of wind, she was 
unmanageable, and cut right into our middle, 
and in a very short time the bunkers and the 
engine-room were full of water. 

1261. Was that also from under-ballasting ? 
That was also from under-ballasting. You could, 
I dare say, trace that that ship had been into 
many ports after leaving Antwerp, on the way 
down. It was a great wonder there was no life 
lost there, but we just managed to get away 
from the ship in time, although the ship did not 

Lord Muskffrry. 

1262. The bulkheads held on, I suppose ? 
The bulkheads held on, and wo afterwards got 
her on to the beach. Another time I was leaving 
Hamburg, on the " Sylviana " bound for Antwerp, 
and after wo left we got the wind about north, 
on our side. 

Lord Shand. 

1263. How was she loaded on this occasion ? 
Always in ballast. We had not been clear of 
the Elbe very long before the ship would not 
steer, but wo managed to get along clear of the 
land and keep clear of the ships, which is a very 
difficult thing to do ; because when we are un- 
manageable like that we are a danger to ourselves 
and all that come in contact with or are in any way 
handy to us. Then again there is violent rolling 
and pitching of a ship in ballast. A ship of the 
class of the " Sylviana " crossing the Atlantic in 
water ballast, even supposing she had 500 or 600 
tons of other ballast, in my opinion if she meets 
with bad weather, is not fit to load a cargo until 
she is placed in dock and examined, because I have 
noticed the rivets both fore and aft started, 
and many a time when these steamers came 
down on the top of a sea it is like striking a 
rock. Of course if they were submerged more in 
the water they would not do that. 


1264. You have given the Committee a good 
many instances and you may probably have some 
others. In your opinion, is there considerable 
danger to life, and to ships too, if they go to 
sea in bad weather under-ballasted ? Yes ; great 
danger to life. 

1265. And to machinery, too ? Yes. 

1266. And thoy become unmanageable, do 
they ? Yes. 

1267. What is your remedy for that ? I think 
it could be avoided by having a light load line, 
as has been suggested here. I think that in my 
opinion ought to be so. It ought to be so, 
because the owners, when there is any difficulty' 
as long as ever they can get out of it themselves 
do not care upon whose shoulders they put it. 

1268. Do they not feel the responsibility or 
the probable loss that will fall upon them ? 




11 Ma/rch 1903.] 

Mr. Wyatt. 


Chairman continued. 

They do not want to take tho responsibility ; 
they try to put it on someone else. 

1269. I should have thought, with the know- 
ledge of probable loss of life, or of their ship, 
they would be anxious to make the ship as safe 
as could be ? But they do not seem to think 
that, because there are hundreds of steamers 
that go to sea which are not fit to go to sea with 
water ballast. 

1270. Have you seen them ? Yes, and I have 
come into contact with ship masters who have 
dreaded to go to sea in ships like that. 

1271. Is that the opinion of your brother ship 
masters ? Yes, that is their opinion. 

1272. Do they think the lignt load line would 
be the best way of remedying the matter ? Yes: 

1273. In preference to the indirect ways of 
which you have heard ? Yes ; I believe, from 
what I have gathered from others, it would be 
better to have a light load line. 

1274. Can you say whether the thing has 
improved lately, or the reverse, or remains much 
about the same ? I should say it is uuich worse 

1275. Why is that? Because the steamers 
are built now, as a rule, of steel, and are much 
lighter and are more buoyant. For instance, 
a steamer like the " Sylviana " is as flat as a 
table on the bottom, and here she had, when we 
left Antwerp on the occasion I referred to, a 
mean draught of 10 feet 8, while the depth from 
the bridge is 40 feet, so that you have not got 
11 teet submerged, and all the rest of the ship 
is out of water. 

Lord Shand. 

1276. It has been put to you that the owners 
do not pay sufficient regard to that matter. Are 
the owner's risks, whatever they are, generally 
covered by insurance ? I could not say that. 

1277. Have you any doubt that the owners, 
before they start their ships insure them ? I 
could not say. 

1278. That you do not happen to know? No. I 
have been many times to sea and not known 
whether the ship was insured or not. 

1279. Of course if there is insurance to cover 
the risks, that takes away an owner's anxiety to 
obviate the disadvantages you mentioned, does it 
not ? Yes. I think insurance is general and 
under^vriters do not trouble whether a ship is in 
ballast or not. 

1280. Quite so, but the owner is protected by 
insurance ? Yes. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

1281. Have you ever had any difficulty in 
getting men to go to sea with you in any of your 
ships ? No, never ; there is never much diffi- 
culty in getting men, because if you cannot get 
them from a homeward bound boarding house 
you can get them from an outward bound 
boarding-house. In many cases these men have 
never seen the ship and do not know what they 
are going on ; in fact they never hardly see the 
ship, and know nothing about her until they 
come aboard. Then they come aboard, a good 
few of them, " tight," and do not know a tning 
about it until next day, when they find them- 
selves rolling about pretty much. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1282. On the loss of the " Sylviana " was there 
an inquiry held ? Yes, there was. ' 

1283. 1 think it came out there, did it not, 
that you on several occasions told the owners 
that the ship was unmanageable, in the trim in 
which they sent her to sea >. Yes. 

1284. I believe it also came out that you had 
no discretion in the matter of taking more 
ballast ? That is so ; I had no power and could 
not say anything at all. 

1285. Did the Court hold then that you were 
perfectly free from blame ? Yes. 

1286. And I believe they strongly blamed the 
owners, did they not ? I believe they blamed 
the owners. 

1287. I believe the o\\-ners stated, did they 
not, that you gave every satisfaction ? Their 
manager appeared there and said there was no 
captain in the world like me ; so they must have- 
thought a great deal of me ; but at the same 
time they would not give me any reference. 

1288. Have they refused you a reference ever 
since ? Yes. 

1289. I believe you were told that if you 
spoke the truth at this Court of Inquiry you 
need never look for a berth on the Is orth Sea 
coast again, were you not ? Yes. 

1290. And you did tell the truth ?- I told the 

1291. And that has been the result ? That 
has been the result. I was told outside the 
Court in Middlesbrough, by the man who was. 
sent down by the firm, who called himself their 
manager, " You have made a mess of this,. 
Captain Wyatt." I said, "What do you mean ; 
I have told, the truth, have I not ? " Then he 
went off; he did not seem to like what I said. 

1292. I believe that is not a solitary case of 
the kind on the North East coast, is it ? Are 
many of your brother captains situated as you 
are yourself ? Yes. 

1293. They cannot speak out their views, can 
they ? No. If a man nas a wife and family to 
look after and no means, he must keep his 
mouth closed. 

1294. And he must take his chance in an un- 
seaworthv vessel ? Yes. 

1295. l"hose vessels I believe with a proper 
amount of ballast are very good sea boats, are 
they not ? Yes, you can do anything you like 
witn them. 

1296. I believe no punishment was meted out 
to the owners ? No. 

1297. Who committed, as we learnt, in the 
course of the inquiry, a misdemeanour in 
causing the ship to be sent to sea in an unsea- 
worthy (condition ? The captain would have 
been punished, no doubt, if it had been found 
that the captain had power to order more ballast, 
and had not done so. 


1298. And were you never employed by this 
same firm, after the inquiry ? No. 

1299. Have you never had employment since T 
No, I have done nothing since. 

1300. Were you willing to go to sea ?^No, it 
is not my intention to go to sea again, but I 
would like employment on shore. 

1301. Were 



11 March 1903.] 

Mr. Wyatt. 


Lord Shand. 

1301. Were you able to get employment 
ofterwards ? I had a few offers, but I had no 
reference to show from my last employer, which 
annoyed me very much, and which I thought 
stood in the way. 


1302. You had the opinion of the Court to 
quote in your favour, had you not ? Yes, but I 
never bothered to get that ; I never even got a 
report of it. 

1303. Did not you tliink it Avould have had 
much weight with shipowners, or what ? I 
think the weight of it would have been against 
me, with most of them. 

Lord Shand. 

1304. Can you tell the Committee who were 
the judges in that tribunal I The Stipendiary 
Magistrate at Middlesbro', with two Nautical 
Assessors and one Engineer Assessor. 


1305. Was there a Mr. Miller on that tribunal ? 
No, Mr. Miller acted on by behalf 

1306. Was he a solicitor ? Yes. 

1307. Is there anything else you wish to tell 
the Committee ? I was going to tell the Com- 
mittee about another steamer that arrived in 
Newport News one winter, three or four winters 
ago, the steamer " Mayflower," of the same class 
and the same type of ship as the " Sylviana." She 
crossed in water ballast, and through not being 
sufficiently ballasted, she received severe injuries 
about the fore part, and had to be docked 
because she was leaking. Of course that is only 
one case, but I have known many cases to occur 
like that. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

1 308. In what year was that ? It would be 
about four years ago. It was the first voyage 
that the " Mayflower " made across the Atlantic m 
winter, and I have known of many others besides 


1309. Do you think it is necessary to go into 
.any more cases? You have given us several 
cases, and have given us very clearly what your 
opinion is ? I should like to tell the Committee 
soinethiKg about throwing the ballast overboard. 
Owners as a rule do not think there is much 
risk about the Channel and the North Sea, but 
when you go across the Atlantic they put ballast 
aboard, and you are always impressed, and have 
orders to throw that ballast overboard before you 

Lord Shand. 

1310. Orders from whom ? From the owners 
or someone, perhaps a clerk in the office. You 
are told " Look out and see all that ballast is got 
x)verboard before you arrive." I have been to 

Lord Shand continued. 

the Bay of Fundy with a ship in ballast like that 
many times, and you could not imagine a worse 
place for a ship like that, in winter time, under- 


1311. I suppose you would only throw it over 
when the weather was fine ? I can only remem- 
ber once when I threw it over, and that was in 
the summer time. In winter I used to make 
some excuse for not throwing it over. I have 
thrown part of it over. 

1312. Do you think captains and masters 
throw it over when they are in bad weather or 
are not safe from bad weather before getting into 
port ? Yes, hundreds of them ; the ballast has 
to be out before the ship arrives in port and 
the holds clean swept, or they would only get 
into trouble. 

1313. They might put it off to a very late 
time in the journey, might they not ? No ; you 
cannot do that because of the shortness of the 
crews. On the "Sylviana" we had a crew of 
29, that was seven A.B's; you have to keep 
watch and a man on the look-out, and one 
at the wheel, and for any captain that is 
minded to navigate his ship in a safe 
manner, you would either have to keep the 
men up, giving them overtime, or take a. longer 
time to throw the ballast overboard. That is 
why in a great many cases ballast is placed on 
deck where it can be thrown overboard easily, 
without the trouble of bringing it up from the 

' Lord Shand. 

1314. And all these things are submitted to, 
as I understand, to keep on good terms with the 
owners ? Yes. It was put to me why I did not 
leave the " Sylviana " before we left Antwerp 
when I knew the vessel was not fit to go to sea ; 
but if I had not done so there are hundreds of 
others who would have been only too glad to 
take her ; they jump at it gladly. I have given 
the Committee my opinion about the light load 
line. I do not know whether this fact is of any 
service at all, but the draughtsman from the 
shipbuilding yard where the "Sylviana" was 
built appeared at the Board of Trade Inquiry, and 
he told me it was a well-known fact that the 
ship was not sufficiently ballasted to go to sea. 
I have seen many times when, from the violent 
rolling of a steamer, it was impossible to keep 
the two red lights up, and when we used to have 
three, as we had before, it was all the more diffi- 
cult. But I have known when, through the 
violent rolling of a steamer in ballast, it was im- 

Eossible to have the red lights up ; we had to 
aul them down. 

Lord Mubkerry. 

1315. What were the red lights up for?^For 
danger after the ship is unmanageable. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 
Ordered, That this Committee be adjourned to to-morrow. Twelve o'clock. 




[ 75 ] 

Die Jovis, 12^ Martii 1903. 


Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 


Lord Brassey. 
Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 


The Eabl SPENCER in the Chair 

Captain THOMAS GEORGE KENDALL is called m , and Examined, as follows : 


1316. I dare say yoiwwill be good enough to 
say what you represent in coming before us. 
You have been on the service between DubUn 
and Holyhead, I believe ? Yes, my Lord. I am 
the superintendent and agent at Holyhead for 
the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company as 
regards their mail service ; in fact I am in charge 
of their mail service there ; and I am a uautical 
assessor for the High Court of Justice, and I am 
a Justice of the Peace for the county of Anglesea, 
and I am a master mariner holding an extra 
masters' certificate, and I was a delegate ap- 
pointed by the Board of Trade to attend the Inter- 
national Maritime Conference at Washington 
HI 1889. 

1317. How long were you in command of ships 
as a master ? About 45 years. 

1318. And you have also been I see a share- 
holder in a steamship company ? I have been ; 
I am not now. 

1319. Then would you state what you desire to 
bring before the Committee? Simply this, my 
Lord, I take a very great interest in this subject 
from the sailor's point of view. Of course, a vast 
number of ships have come under my notice 
stationed as I am at Holyhead Holyhead being 
a harbour of refuge. I have seen a vast n\miber 
of steamers come in there apparently (and in 
.some cases I have no doubt they were) quite un- 
manageable from want, I should think, of suffi- 
cient ballasting. Of course, the ships might be 
able to stand upright, perhaps by the ballast they 
had in, but they were totally unfit to go to sea. 

1320. Can you give any figmres showing the 
number of vessels you have seen come into Holy- 
head Harbour with insufficient ballast? ^Yes, I 
can. I have got a list here. It is a very recent 
list this winter I am speaking of, from January 
2nd (that is last January) to February 7th ; so 
that is a very recent list. 

1321. Yes? There must be about thirty ves- 
sels here, I should think, that may be considered 
from my point of view as unfit to go to sea from 
'vanf of proper ballasting. 


ChMrman coatinued. 

1322. You cannot say what proportion that is 
of all the ships in ballast you have seen come in. 
I suppose a certain nimiber come in with suffi- 
cient ballast? Yes. I should think that pro- 
bably during that time three or four times that 
number of ships come in altogether. These are 
merely light ships. 

1323. I wanted to know whether you could 
apportion the number of light ships to those 
which come in with proper ballast ? I have no 
record of that. 

1324. Would you say three to four times more 
than that came in ? I should think quite that. 

1325. That is to say, thirty out of ninety ? I 
should think I might certainly say thirty out of 
a hundred. I can quote one or two special cases 
if you like. 

1326. Yes? On the 15th December, for in- 
stance last December there was a Dutch vessel 
called the " Leonora " ; she dragged her anchor 
in a westerly fresh gale and she got into shallow 
water ; the steam li5eboat went immediately to 
her assistance, and, fortunately, the wind dropped 
very suddenly and the lifeboat was able to get 
her head round to the wind and she was able to 
steam 'in ; otherwise she would have been a total 
wreck. That was entirely from being impro- 
perly ballasted. It was a salvage case so far as 
the lifeboat was concerned ; they got 150^. for it. 
Then we had a case in Carnarvon Bay a German 

1327. May I just ask you this : Was there any 
Court of Inquiry upon this Dutch vessel. I sup- 
pose not ? Oh, no, I think not. The vessel got 
out of it all right. She dragged her anchors 
because she was too light. 

1328. Go on, please? ^We had a case of a 
German steamer, the " Bothilde Russ," she was 
driven ashore at AberfEraw Point in a strong 
south-westerly gale. She was in ballast and she 
was totally unmanageable. I did not see the 
master mvself . That vessel was totally lost. 

1329. Was any life lost? No, there was no 
loss of life. Then there are numberless cases 
of ships damaging one another, simply from 

K 2 their 



12 March 1903. J 

Captain T. G. Kendall. 


Chairman continued, 
their being improperly ballasted, sheering about 
at their anchors, and getting foul of other ships 
and bringing to in unsafe places. There is the 
" Foxton Hall," and the - Woodleigh.'! 

1330. When did those accidents happen? 
Last January the 23rd and 26th of January. 
All these 1 am quoting now are accidents that 
have occurred this winter. 

1331. Did those accidents happen on account 
of the ships being insufficiently ballasted ? Oh, 
yes ; I think there is no doubt about it. I have 
eot a list here which shows thei tonnage of the 
ships, and if you compare the tonnage with the 
draft of water you can f()rm some idea whether a 
vessel is improperly ballasted or not. For in- 
stance, now the " Fo.xton Hall " is a vessel of 
2,734 tons drawing 13 feet, and we have a case of 
another steamer of 778 tons (that is one-third the 
tonnage 3'ou know), drawing 12 feet 6 inches. 
Well, that I think wpuld go to show in a great 
measure that the 2,734 ton ship drawing 13 feet 
could not have had much in her. 

1332. Did any accident happen to these two 
vessels? Oh, yes; they fouled each other, so 
much so that they both had to be repaired. 

1333. In Holyhead Harbour ? Well, the 
" Foxton Hall " went back to Liverpool. I 
think the other one was repaired in Holyhead. I 
will not be quite sure about the " Woodleigh" ; 
anyhow, they were both so much damaged that 
they could not proceed on their voyage without 
repair. There was the case of a Spanish 
steamer; she came into Holyhead to coal the 
"Solano" she was called, and she started to go 
down to Barry ; she got halfway there, and had 
to come back to get more coal, so tla.ait could 
not have been a very paying concern for the 

'owner. If she had been properly ballasted she 
would have gone on, of course. I can go back 
some years if you like ; I do not know whether 
you care for that. 

1334. Any remarkable cases you might give 
us.' We do not want to have a repetition of too 
many. Can you state the number of cases you 
have got there on which you found your opinion, 
then give your opnion upon them generally? 
Well, I found my opinion upon all these cases 

1335. How many cases have you got there, 
you said 30 ? I have got about five and twenty 

1336. Five and twenty cases ? I should think 

1337. Which have happened during very 
recent vears? ^Tes, since 1892. 

1338."' In addition to the 30? There is one 
here called the " Neath," of Sunderland ; she 
dragged her anchors and went ashore on a point 
called Penrhyn Point, inside Holyhead Bay. 
That was a notorious case of insufficient ballast. 
The ship, fortunately, went on a sandy beach 
and being so light she did not take much harm, 
and she got off again. There is another one 
called the " Sayers," I think it is " Ella Sayers." 
This vessel also came on shore inside the break- 
water, in quite smooth water, and went on the 
rocks, the wind blowing strong from the north. 
She was got off all right. But my experience 
has been, that light vessels if they are caught in 

Chairman continued, 
a gale their anchors do not hold ; they are too 
light; there is too much of them out of the 
water that is the fact of the matter. 

1339. You are speaking of vessels in harbour ? 
Yes, of vessels in harbour. 

1340. And you would say, I suppose, that th& 
same thing, with greater force, applies when 
they are at sea in bad weather ? I should think 
so. I should think they are perfectly un- 
manageble at sea ; I do not see how they could 
possibly do anything in the Channel in bad 
weather. There is another point with regard to 
these ships. I, of coiirse, represent the Mail 
Packet Service at Holyhead. Tnese ships give us 
an immense amount of trouble, and are a great 
danger to our mail steamers getting in and out of 
harbour, especially at night. These vessels come 
in light ; they come in sometimes a dozen of 
them in a night; they let go their anchors 
anywhere. You cannot blame the captain of 
the ship ; he comes in. and gets into shelter, 
and he lets go his anchor, and you cannot move 
him out of it in a moment you must wait 
until the weather moderates, and when the 
weather moderates, of course, he goes away. Our 
mail boat track which applies to the London 
and North-Western steamers also is not a very 
wide one. Holyhead Bay seems a big place, 
but the shallow water runs out a very long way, 
and there are dangerous rocks there, so that our 
Channel, going in and out, is comparatively 
small. These big light steamers come and 
block up our Channel, and it is a great danger 
to our ships. 

1341. Then have you any evidence as to- 
opinion among those who have been at sea on 
this matter? The seafaring men that I have 
spoken to are all of one opinion that is that 
something should be done to remedy the state 
of affairs existing at present. As regards these 
vessels that go to sea as we consider, well, in 
an unseaworthy state from want of proper bal- 

1342. That is yoxir opinion, and it is con- 
firmed by what you know of others? I have 
never heard any other opinion amongst nautical! 

1343. Then you consider the remedy for it 
is the light load line, as I understand is that 
so? I should say so. I cannot see what other 
remedy there could be very well. We must 
have something definite to start with to go 

1344. Then have you anything to say as to- 
the present responsibility for insufficient bal- 
last where that responsibility rests whether on 
the masters or not? I suppose, primarily, the 
master of a ship is responsible for his ship; 
but the master of a ship unfortunately is in the 
hands of his owners, and he must do as he is^ 

1345. Then how is it that shipowners are not 
alive to the necessity of having sufficient bal- 
last if it is so dangerous to their property and 
to lives, not to have it? I cannot say; I think 
they are very unwise. If I was looking at it 
from a shipowner's point of view, I should 
think it very unwise to allow my ship to go to 
sea not properly ballasted. 

1346. Yet 

l2 March 1903.] 


Captain T. G. Kendall. 



1 ^^1^' J^*'/c^ording to your experience, they 
do not often do thatP-Yes, I have not the least 
doubt about it. 

1347. And the masters, even if they think their 
ship IS too light, dare not take more ballast on 
account of their coming into collision with the 
owners, is that it? Yes, that is my idea; that 
IS my opinion. A man cannot quarrel with his 
bread and butter. 

1348. Why; is it that some owners are so 
anxious to curtail the ballasting? Well, I sup- it is a matter of expense.. 

1349. To make the cargo capacity as large as 
possible.-' Save as much expense as possible 
taking in and di.scharging ballast. 

1350. Do you think that the Board of Trade 
Surveyors ought to be able, on account of the 
danger of these ships going to sea, to detain them 

to correct the evil that you are speaking of ? I 

cannot see how a Board of Trade Surveyor Very 
well could do it. You see he must have some- 
thing to go upon. It is a very serious matter 
(it would be, I take it) for a Board of Trade 
Surveyor to pronounce a ship unfit to go to sea ; 
he give a good cause for it ; and as regards 
the overloading of the vessel, of course he Uaa 
the Phmsoll mark which he can go by, and which 
directs him ; but as regards a light ship, he ha.s 
nothing to start from, I take it. It would be 
a very difficult thing for a Surveyor to pronounce 
a ship unfit to go to sea from want of ballast, I 

1351. We hear sometimes of the screw being 
too much out of the water he sees that. Is not 
that a thing that would guide him? Yes; I 
have seen that constantly. 

1352. Yes, but cannot "the Board of Trade Sur- 
vevor notice that." I should think so. 

1353. And deal with that? Well, I do n(.t 
know as regards a ship going to sea, but I should 
think so. 

1354. But, as a matter of fact, he does not do 
it? I do not think so. I do not think he takes 
any notice of a ship being unseaworthy from want 
of ballast ; I rather think not, at present. 

1355. I suppose you remember the time before 
the deep load line was made into law ? Yes, I do. 

1356. You have seen a great change since 
then? Yes, there is no doubt about that. 

1357. At a great inconvenience to shipowners, 
or not? ^TV^ell, I should think it would be to the 
profit of the .shipowner if all went right. 

1358. Profitable ? 1 should think the insurers 
would probably be the more direct benefiters by 
that. ^ 

1359. I do not know whether you were here in 
the room yesterday. Perhaps not? No. 

1300. We had suggestions made that the in- 
surers might make certain conditions as to the 
ballasting of ships when owners come to them 
for insurance, and make the premium depend a 
good deal upon that. What do you say to that ? 
Do you think that would cure the evil? That 
is purely a financial question, I think. 

1361. But finance sometimes rules a good 
many things and cures a good many evils? 
So it does. I dare say an arrangement of that 
sort might be made, but I think this question of 
light load, in which the lives of sailors and pro- 
liprty are involved, ougbt to rise far above the 

Ch 5!Vian continued 
i--.ce question. I have not considered th. 

meant, of the insurance you might make a j^reat 

is o^- f Jr "^"^ "* ''"^'^ - but I mean^h: 
18 one of the suggestions put forward ?-It is 
qui^ possible. 1 should think so 

1303. You say you attended the International 
Maritme Conference at Washington, did this 
?here "" ""^ there ?-No, not when I w^ 

1364 What was it there ?-It was the rule of 
the road principally. 

^f^' ^^^^ '"^'' ^' *^ '^^' ^^as it ? Yes, that. 
IS wnat 1 was connected with. 

1366. you did not go into the question of 
oad lines at a^l, either deep load line or light 
oad line .-'-I think they did, but not during the 

time I was there. I think the Conference did 
consider that afterwards ; I came away after the 
rule ot the road question was settled. 

1367. You did not take any part, or hear any 
discussion even, about the deep load lineP Ko 
none. ' ' 

1368. Is there any other point you would like- 
to bring before us? I do not know that there 
IS, my Lord. 

1369. Are you aware of one point that we have 
heard something about once or twice, as to tne 
practice that Jjrevail.s very -often about ships 
going across the Atlantic and throwing out part 
of their ballast when they are in the middle of 
the Atlantic, and then if bad weather comes on 

. runnng great danger, either in mid-Atlantic or 
before you get to port ? I think there have been 
cases of that kind. I knew of one case some 
years ago I cannot give you the name of the 
siup or anything about it. 

1370. You do not know? But that refers to 
heavy laden ships ships too heavily laden, I 

1371. No, to ballast, in order to get the hold 
perfectly clear ready to begin to load, to save time 
in loading ; that is what I mean.^ No, I do not 
think I have ever heard of a case Ike that. 

Lord Musherry. 

1372. Do you know that it is rather a common 
practice in ships coming from the Continent for 
cargo (to get coal) that they have their holds 
clean swept by the time they get into the Bristol 
Channel ? I have no doubt they consider that a 
matter of great importance, to save as much time 
as possible. 

1373. You mentioned a number of these 
foreign vessels going round past Holyhead to 
load with coal ? ^Yes. 

1374. Do not you consider that they are a 
serious danger to all other vessels navigating in 
the same vicinity ? No doubt they are. 

1375. When they are unmanageable? I 
should think so, decidedly. 

1376. And the mail steamers sometimes must 
run a risk from these unmanageable ships? A 
very grreat risk. 

1377. They do run a They do run a 

1378. You are also, I believe, captain and 
chairman of the lifeboat committee ?Ye.s. 

1379. And 



12 March 1903.] 

Captain T. G. Kendall. 

[Vontiv ned. 

Lord Muakerry continued. 

1379. And your men sometimes have to risk 
their lives, do not they, to go out to rescue men 
from these unmanageble vessels? ^Yea, they 
do. We have two lifeboats at Holyhead three 
altogether ; we have one at a little place called 
Portruffet, about two miles ofE. In Holyhead 
we have two, a steam lifeboat and a sailing life- 
boat; and sometimes they are both out to- 
gether in consequence of these ships which get 
into collision with one another in the bay and 
when riding at tlieir anchors. 

1380. At considerable risk to life? ^Yes, of 

Lord Brassey. 

1381. In the part of the sea which comes 
under your more immediate observation, have 
there been any recent cases of loss of life from 
ships being insufficiently ballasted? ^No, I have 
not heard of any loss of life. 

1382. You mentioned three cases of foreign 
ships that had' come to grief from insufficient 
ballasting a Dutch ship, a German ship, and 
a Spanish ship? Yes. 

1383. Are there any regulations in those 
countries with reference to the light load line? 
I cannot say. I should imagine not, from 
what I have! seen. 

1384. There are no regulations for dealing 
with it.P I do not think so. I cannot say, 
positively, of course. 

1385. But so far as you know? So far aa I 
know, yes. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

1386. I want to clear up one point. Are 
you giving your evidence on behalf of the Dub- 
lin Steam Packet Company, or merely express- 
ing your own opinion? No, it is quite private 
evidence that I am giving. 

1387. You are only expressing your own 
opinion? That is all. I have the permission 
of my company to come here. They have ex- 
pressed no opinion, and I have received no in- 
structions from them. 

1388. With regard to the foreign ships you 
have named, suppose we had the light load line 
in this country, what difference would it make 
to these foreign ships? Unless the foreign 
countries adopted the light load line, of course, 
it would not make any difference to them. 

1389. At present they have not adopted any 
load line at all either light or heavy- Not 
that I am aware of. 

1390. With regard to these ships that you 
say within the last year you saw coming into 
the harbour light, were any of them in such a 
state that you think they should have been de- 
tained before they sailed? I think they should 
not have left port at all in the state they were 
in. It was quite clear from the appearance of 
the vessels that they, would be quite unmanage- 
able in the Channel, and would not be able to 
do anything against a south-west gale of wind. 
The fact of their coming into Holyhead proves 
that. They come in there for shelter, because 
they cannot do anything in the Channel. 

1391. Then you consider the Board of Trade 
Surveyor at the ports of departure should not 
have allowed them to go to sea? I am afraid 

Lord Inverclyde continued, 
not ; but I do not see what he could do in the 
matter; he would have to accept the responsi- 
bility, and he has nothing to guide him. 

1392. As a matter of fact, he could protest 
that the vessels should not be allowed to go to- 
sea under conditions that would endanger Lfe ; 
but you do not know of any case where life has 
been lost on account of this? No, I have no 
record of loss of life at all events, since 1863. 

Viscount Ridley. 

1393. Just a few questions about your own, 
experience when you were navigating ships. 
Have you often, owing to the difficulty as you 
have told us of getting things otherwise arranged,, 
had to go to sea with yoiu- ship in a condition 
which you felt was unsatisfactory ? ^No ; I have 
never gone to sea in a ship that I considered un- 

Lord Shand. 

1394. Have you ever been in the employment 
of an' owner who controlled you in that matter,, 
or were you free from control? Well, I have 
not commanded a foreign going ship now since 

1395. When you were on board was your dis- 
cretion controlled? When I was on board my 
owner did not control me in any way whatever. 
It might perhaps have been for this reason : that 
I was not in England. 

1396. That was the older type of ship also, I 
suppose? Yes, the older type. 

1397. Which was more deeply immersed, 
whether in ballast or without it? The older 
type of ship was somewhat different to the pre- 
sent type of ship. I may say the present tj'pe 
of ship is a fuller-built ship, and a very much 
larger vessel. You get a very large steamer 
now. Competition is so great you see that ships 
must be built as big as they can. I will put it 
in that way. 

1398. With much less hold of the water? 
Yes, that is it ; a flatter bottom. 

1399. You gave us instances of cases that 
had occurred recently. Are these instances of 
what has occurred in other years, also the- 
same nvmiber, or were they worse last year than 
usual? I do not think so. I think it is the 
usual record for several years last winter. 

1400. You mean, that would apply to the- 
whole of the years you have been in the sei^ice 
at Holyhead ? I take that as an average. 

1401. As was noticed by Lord Brassey, you 
only mentioned three foreign ships ; what about 
English ships ; are there a larger proportion of 
offenders in the case of foreign ships that have 
come in, than of English ships? I think not. 
I think it is quite an accident that these should 
be foreign ships. 

1402. And that you mentioned them? Yes. 

1403. Your evidence would apply to British 
ships quite as well? To British ships quite as 

1404. And I suppose even in larger numbers 
than foreign ships ? No doubt, because the pro- 
portionate total number would be much larger. 

1405. Do no ships come to load in your port? 
^No, it s not a commercial port. 

140n Iforely 



12 March 1903.] 

CapUin T. G. Kendall. 

Lord Shand continued. 

l^iOU. Merely a passing port which they go 
into for rest and shelter .? Holyhead is a 
harbour of refuge for foreign, ships. 

14(7. So that vou know nothing of the pi act ice 
of ships which are going for loading throwing 
over their ballast before entering in order to 
save time in the loading? No, nothing what- 
ever. I can only speak of what I have seen in 

1408. Then, when you were saying that the 
owner assume so much control over the master 
in the matter of ballast, do you mean that that 
occurs, in your opinion, because they desire to 
effect economy? I think so. I should say so 

1409. For the purpose (very naturally and 
properly, perhaps) of saving money in the carry- 
ing on of their business ? Yes. 

1410. Then you were asked a question about 
foreigners and the applying of rules to them? 
I suppose the foreigners have no such rules as we 
have ? Do you think there should be any diffi- 
culty in the Board of Trade seeing that whatever 
rules they impose shall apply to foreign ships 
when in theis ports? ^I should think no diffi- 
culty. I should suppose they would adopt what- 
ever rules the Board of Trade make upon the 

1411. And that if rules are applied to British 
ehips the same shall Be made applicable to foreign 


Lord Shand continued. 

ships that come to our ports ? I should think so 

1412. You said that an inquiry takes place into 
some of these events. Are these cases in which 
a Board of Trade Inquiry took place ? I do not 
think there has been a Board of Trade Inquiry 
upon any of the cases that I have quoted. 

1413. Then, in short, a Board of Trade In- 
quiry does not occur unless there happens to be 
a very serious calamity, I suppose ? No. 

1414. In the cases of damage that you have 
been speaking of, which are so numerous, there 
was no Board of Trade Inquiry, I suppose? No. 
No doubt there has been a siurvey ^the ships have 
been surveyed. I do not suppose they would be 
allowed to proceed to sea unless they were passed 
by the surveyor after an accident of that kind, 
but I do not think any Board of Trade Inquiry 
has been held in any of those cases. 

Lord Musleerry. 

1415. Do not vessels call into Holyhead for 
orders ? Oh, yes, they do. 

1416. That would account for a good number 
of that hundred beyond the seventy the thirty 
a good many of those vessels might have been in 
for orders ? Yes. I do not think many of them 
call for orders. 

1417. But some do ? Some do, I know. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 

Mr. HERBERT ROWELL is called in ; and Examined, as follows : 


1418. You are a naval architect? Yes, my 

1419. And connected with the building of a 
good many merchant ships ? Yes. 

1420. Tramps and others what are called 
" tramps " ? We are engaged more in building 
rather a higher class ot ship running in the 
Australian trade, and the American trade also. 

1421. But you wish to bring before us certain 
points with regard to the alteration in modern 
ships from the older ones, and consequently the 
greater difficulty in navigation ? Yes. I have 
prepared .several diagrams which i would like to 
Dring before you, the first of which shows the 
gradual increase of beam in relation to length in 
ships of about 350 feet in length. This diagram 
extends over a period of about 22 years, begin- 
ning at 1880 and ending at 1902. Incidentally 
the diagram shows that the principal steps in 
the increase of beam to length take place during 
the times of depression, and shows that they are 
rendered necessary, or that they are caused, by 
efforts on the part of both shipbuilder and 
shipowner to produce a more economical 
ve.ssel. Another diagram which I lay on the 
table shows the gradual increase in the 
fulness of the form of the ves.sel over the same 
period of years, and combines the effect of 
that with the increase of beam. Another 
diagram which I have prepared here shows the 
effect of those two points to which I have 

Chairman continued. 

already referred on the ends of the ship, which 
usually suffer most in the case of light steam- 
ing. Another diagram shows the development 
of length, principally in boats trading across the 
Atlantic, and shows how in the case of one 
company the requirements of the trade with a 
view to economical steaming has caused them 
gradually to evolve two types of ship, one of 
which is used for ports where the size is not 
limited, and the other where the size is limited. 
That extends over the same period. The length 
I need hardly say also, of course, is a very 
important point in the nxatter of damage to the 
ends of ships when navigating, especially light. 

1422. Are you speaking now or all classes of 
ships, includmg liners, or not ? I have not 
included the fastest liners but I have included 
boats which are known as intermediate, boats 
steaming perhaps 15 knots and running up to a 
length of nearly 600 feet. 

1423. That is more than what are generally 
called " tramps '' of course ? Well, I generally 
associate the word " tramp " with a boat steam- 
ing about nine knots with about 08 co-efficient 
or something of that sort, a boat which is built 
with the object of getting a maximum dead 
weight at a minimum price per ton. 

Lord Sliand. 

1424. Then your evidence extends beyond 
tramp, I understand ? Yes. 

1425 Those you have given us ? Yes. 

1426. Now 



12 March 1903.] 

Mr. RowELLu 



1426. Now will you go on with what you wish 
to say ? Another diagnini, which is really what 
I am leading up to with the former ones, shows 
the variation in the ratio of light draught when 
the ship is in ballast trim to the loaded draught, 
shomng how, during the later years, there nas 
been a tendency to build ships of the type which 
had a very much less grip ot the water when in 
ballast. I have also prepared a sheet dealing 
with the ratio of a vessel with her ballast tanks 
filled, and her permanent bunkers half filled. 
It shows the ratio that the draught of a vessel 
in that condition would bear to the free board 
of the vessel, in order to show whether wo had 
got any basis for making, or any qualification for 
making, the minimum free board some ratio of 
the minimum draught. The result of the cal- 
culations which I have made, shows that in the 
case of a vessel of about 065 co-efficient (that is 
really a vessel of the form which used to be 
fairly general some time ago), her ratio of draft 
with ballast and half bunkers would be about two- 
and-a-half times the winter free-board, calculating 
the winter free-board without any allowance for 
erections and sheer. In the case of more modern 
ships, that ratio would only be one-and-a-half in 
the case of a boat of 077 co-efficient, or 0"76 co- 
efficient (approximately one-and-a-half), and the 
additional oallast which it would be necessary to 
put into the modern ship to get her down to the 
same draught, and to give her the same grip of 
of the water as the older type of ship had, would 
be nearly double varying, of course, according 
to the type of ship -but from something less to 
something more tnan double the ballast which 
these ships can carry in their double bottom. 

1427. I understand what you are saying is that 
in your opinion the type ol modern ship as 
against the type of old ship requires more care 
and more ballast than ships built in old days ? 
Yes the older type of snip with the ordinary 
double bottom. In dealing with this older 
type of ship the finer ship I made diagrams 
of one or two different sizes to see how at 
their draught in their ballast condition they 
would trim on the crest of a wave of their 
own length, and I fonnd that if they were trimm- 
ing one foot in a hundred feet of length by 
the stern (which is a fairly reasonable basis) the 
blades of the propeller below the boss would be 
immersed. In tlie case of a modem ship that 
would not be so. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1428. Below the boss or above the boss, do you 
mean ? Below the boss. 

1429. You said below ? The blades below the 
boss would be immersed. I do not put that for- 
ward as a necessary condition for safe navigation, ' 
but as a basis of comparison, because as long as 
the blades below the boss were immersed I do 
not think although the speed of the revolutions 
would accelerate there would be any racing. 

1430. Below the boss ? Below the boss the 
blades below the boss. 

1431. I do not understand. Do you mean 
that all the upper part of the propeller would not 
be immersed ? Yes, in case oi a boat on the 

1432. On the wave.? Yes, certainly on the 

Lord Mulcerry continued. 

wave, because, of course, that is the conditicm 
under whicli the racing takes place. This 
diagram shows that willi a boat of ordinary 
fulness the immersion would be about three feet 
less, and a boat with al)Out 006 or 065 co- 
efficient would have an immersion, with a pro- 
peller of say 15 feet diameter, of between rive 
and six eet,.and a boat of about 078 or of 08 
co-efficient of displacement with her double 
bottom full and half bunkers full would only 
have two feet of the lower tip of the blade of the 
propeller in the water. Of course what I wanted 
to work up to was that with the circumstances of 
boats in the past this question may hnve been 
unnecessary, but it does not follow that because 
of that, at present it is. I think something 
might be done in the way of making up light 
load tables on the same basis as free board 
tables ; and I think the figures that I have here, 
although they are only seven typo ships, which 
I have selected, seem to indicate that in order 
to bring a modern ship down to about the same 
draught as a ship of say 18 or 20 years ago, the 
amount of extra weight that would have to be 
added would be such that the resulting draft 
would bear some sort of relation to the 
winter free board, without erections and without 
sheer. To get really reliable data to make tables 
would require an enormous amount of work, 
which of course I could not undertake. 

UoAKi-tv, Chairman. 

1433. Can you give any evidence as to 
whether a change has taken place in the quantity , 
of ballast used by owners ? Yes, that certainly 
is so. 

1434. They have increased it of their own 
accord, have they ? They have increased it ; and 
the necessity for additional ballast is shown by 
the different suggestions which are made and for 
which patents are taken out from time to time 
for increasing the amount of the ballast. I do not to go into this in detail, but I have made a 
sheet which I have here of eight different ways 
of increasing the water ballast carried by a ship 
above what is carried in a double bottom. 

1435. That has been adopted by a great many 
owners ? Yes. 

1436. Of course it is a very interesting point 
you have raised, and it may bear upon what has 
to be done if any rules are to be laid down ; but 
wo want very much to know whether there has 
been, in consequence of change in the ships, 
serious loss of fife and property, and you have 
no figures to give us to snow, that, as I under- 
stand you ? No, I have no figures to show that. 

1437.. And you caimot of your own knowledge 
say whether owners liavo neglected to make 
these improvements and changes which are 
necessary in consequence of having modern 

-Yes, I 


ships instead of the old ou^s ?- 

1438. What do you say about that ? I say we 
see that, from the enquiries we get for ships and 
the occasional enquiries we get tvs to the 2)rice of 
fitting a deep tank ; and the owner considers 
very much whether the extra ballast will cost 
him so much a ton, and if he cannot get it done 
for half-a-crown less, he perhaps decides not to 
fit it. 

1439. You are consulted as an architect as to 




12 March 1903.] 

Mr. RowELL. 


Chairman continued. 

how the increased ballast should be given to 
these ships ? Yes. 

1440. And you have devised, as you show us, 
various plans for doing it principally water, is 
it ? I have not " devised " these. These are 
methods which have been devised by people 
interested in ship building. 

1441. Principally in water ballast ? Yes, 
these are all water ballast. 

1442. Have you anything further you want to 
tell us ? No, I think not. Bearing on the 
question of loss of life, of course we see ships 
pass our yard going up and down. 

1443. Where is your yard ? On the Tyne ; 
and we sometimes see them going down really 
taking charge of the whole river, going out while 
in ballast. 

1444. Have you any figures about that ?-^ 

1445. But you often notice that ? -Yes. 

1446. It is of interest to you of course, as an 
architect to see what is happening ? Yes ; and 
we have also a ferry of our o\vti which we run on 
the river, and that sometimes suffers damage 
from these boats which are so light that they 
cannot steer. 

1447. In your opinion a great many do run 
in that state ? Yes. 

1448. Are they the modem or the old type of 
ship ? The modem. Of course the older type 
would steer. I have two or three models here 
(I do not Mrish to take up your time, my Lord, 
unnecessarily, but I can leave them if anyone 
cares to look at them afterwards) that show the 
difference that the co-efficient of displacement 
makes to the grip of the water by the ship. 

1449. I suppose you would agree' (I do not 
know whether you do) Avith what a good many 
witnesses have said : that of course if the ship 
is under-ballasted it is dangerous to the ma- 
chinery ; of course, the machinery suffers ? 
Undoubtedly ; and the structure of the ship for- 
ward to a greater extent than I think is 
generally recognised. 

1450. As a naval architect, do you often get 
cases of that sort brought to your knowledge ? 
Yes, we are dock owners as well, and get ships 
to repair sometimes. 

1451. With regard to shafts, I think we had 
evidence yesterday that that has been altered 
under conditions issued by Lloyds? Lloyds 
have increased their shafting, but whether they 
have done so sufficiently or not is an open 

Lord Shand. 

1452. So far as I quite understand, you have 
not suggested a remedy for the present evils. 
What is the remedy that occurs to you as the 
right way of putting these vessels right ? I do 
not think the ships ought to be allowed to pro- 
ceed to sea unless they have a certain draught ; 
the exact amount, as I say, would require a great 
deal of research to fix definitely what it should 
be, but I do not think it would be imnossible ; 
I think it would only be a question of the 
amount of laVjour. 

1453. Are you pointing at all to the load line, 
or are you rather pointing at some rules about 
ballasting when you make that remark ? I 


Lord Shand continued, 
think a load line should be fixed, and I think in 
order to encourage owners to increase the 
amount of ballast that the ship can carry that 
some consideration should be shown in the 
tonnage measurement in the case of deep tanks 
and other similar arrangements. 

1454. Must that be enforced in your view by 
a load Une, or not ? What I am pointing at is. 
this I want to know whether the load line is 
to be required, or whether the Board of Trade 
regulation as to ballast might be sufficient, or 
what you think might be the right remedy ? 
I think the only way the thing can be satis- 
factorily applied in the case of all ships is to fix a 
light load line, because regulations aboiat ballast- 
ing would practically lay a considerable proportion 
of the merchant fleet which has been built during 
the last five or six years idle until it was carried 

1455. Then would the light load line be 
required to be combined with regulations in 
regard to ballast or not ? No. 

1456. The light load line would serve the 
purpose without regulations as to that ? Yes. 

1457. You do not think that the matter could 
be done by regulations in regard to ballast alone ?' 
I think it would be impracticable. 

Viscount Ridley. 

1458. With regard to the fixing of a light 
load line, such as you think is almost necessary 
to secure safety, I understand you to say that 
practically, if no compan.sation or equivalent- 
were given to the ship o>vners, that would lay a. 
great many more ships idle and seriously damage 
the merchant shipping trade ? What I meant, 
was that if legislation was carried through with 
a view to increasing the water ballast a great 
many of the ships that have been built during 
the last five or six years would have to be laid 
up to have these tanks fitted ; and that would 
seriously cripple the supplies to the country; 
there is no doubt about that. 

1459. Assuming it is proved that there is not 
only loss of property, but loss of life in conse- 
quence of ships insufficiently ballasted going to 
sea, do not you hold that it is the duty of the^ 
owner to see that the ship is safe ? Certainly, it 
is the duty of the owner. 

1460. Do you think that could not be done 
without unreasonably hampering him ? I think 
in many instances the owner is not capable of 
forming an opinion upon the subject. 

1461. I want to come to this : You say in 
order to induce the owner to do that which every 
good owner would do if he knew his business, the 
tonnage is to be reduced, which means that all 
the harbours are to get less dues for the same- 
amount of traffic carried ? Yes, they would get less. 

1462. That is to say. the harbour and dock 
authorities are to pay practically, in their falling 
off receipts, for enabling the bad owner I 
will not call him the " bad owner," but the ill- 
instructed owner to do that which really a well 
equipped service does already ? I think the fall- 
ing ofi in the receipts would not be appreciable 
because it would come in principally with new 
ships. I think it would be a small price to pay 
for the advantage. 

1463. I was only asking the question, because 
L I understood 



12 March 1903.] 

Mr. RowELL. 


Viscount Ridley continued. 

I understood you to say that that would be a 

E roper way to legislate in favour of a light load 
ne ? Yes ; I think it would be a wise way of 
doing it. 

1464. Is there any light load line now, or any 
regulation equivalent to it in any foreign 
country ? Not that I know of 

1465. What is the practice (I do not know, 
and I am perhaps asking an ignorant question) 
as regards foreign ships in regard to tne deep 
load line the Plimsoll line ? We have no juris- 
diction over foreign ships ? No, we ought to 
have ; they ought not to be allowed to come to 
our ports without. 

1466. There is no enforcement of the deep 
load line in the case of foreign ships in our ports, 
is there ? 1 believe the surveyors do interfere if 
they think a ship is unreasonably deep, and they 
think she is dangerous. 

1467. Of course there is no deep load line on 
any foreign ship leaving our ports ? Oh yes, 
sometimes there is In foreign ships we build 
the foreign owners often ask us to put Lloyds' 
line on. 

1468. It is not compulsory? No it is not 

1469. We cannot, with our law, make them do 
it ? No, we connot make them do it. 

1470. It is in the exercise of their own judg- 
ment and for the safety of their o^vn ships that 
they do in many cases have the load line 
marked ? Yes. 

Lord Brassey. 

1474. The classes of ships with which you are 
chiefly acquainted are a large class of vessel I 
presume vessels in the over-sea trade ? I 
think the principal feature of the ships we build 
is their variety ; we have just just finished a 
tramp of 08 co efficient, 304 feet long; the ship 
before that Avas a boat 360 feet long, 075 co- 
efficient ; and just before that we built a boat 
600 feet long a twin screw Atlantic boat. 

1472. They may be all characterised in a 
general broad way as large vessels ^vessels of 
some size for the over-seat rades? Yes; we 
have built very little under 300 feet of recent 
years except for the Caspian Sea. 

1473. When we look to the Return of casual- 
ties in shipping turn over any page and look 
down the list the eye at once catches a very 
considerable number of vessels of quite small 
tonnage. On any given page there are quite a 
number of a hundred tons ; now how would you 
deal with that class of vessel. Would you pro- 
pose that there should be a fixed load line in 
the case of those small craft ? Yes ; I would not 
make the size a question in it. 

1474. Though entirely employed on coast- 
wise voyages and probably manned by a crew 
who would be more or less part owniers and very 
intimately acquainted with the behaviour of their 
ship in all sorts of weather, you would still think 

it desirable in the case of those small vessels to 
insist upon the light load line ? Yes, as the 
deep load line tables recognise the trade, so I 
would recognise the trade in the other case, the 
coasting trade. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1475. Arising out of a question that Lord 
Ridlev asked you, do vou mean that if the 
Board of Trade brought forward any regulations 
stating that they must put a certain class on 
the vessel, or ballast in a certain way, then it 
would lay up a great number of the ships to 
have this done ; but that on the other hand, if 
a light load line, such as is proposed, was 
brought out, it would not lay these ships up, 
because they could ballast in any way they 
liked ? Yes. 

1476. As long as they secured immersion ; is 
that the case ? Yes. 


1477. It is important to be quite clear upon 
that. You consider that if a light load line was 
introduced, it would bear less hardly on ship- 
owners than regulations as to increasing ballast, 
water balList, and so on ? Decidedly. 

1478. In the one case you do not think it 
would be any very serious inconvenience or tax 
on the shipowner ? Yes, I think it would be. I 
think any regulations would. 

1479. Yes, " regulations " ? Any regulation of 
this sort. 

1480. Any regulations, even the light load line 
Avould be, you think ? Yes, any regulation. 

1481. I understood your answer which Lord 
Muskerry has somewhat cleared up (in answer 
to Lortl fehand I think it was originallv) stated 
to be that regulations bv the Board of 'Trade for 
loading the ship would be more onerous in their 
application to shipowners than a light load line ? 
Yes, that is so. 

1482. But that you did not think that the 
light load line would be a very easy matter for the 
shipoAvners ? Oh, no; 1 think it would cause ex- 
pense and inconvenience to shipowners just as 
the deep load line did. 

1483. Have you ever studied that ? It depends 
so much upon the particular ship. In some ships 
it might be done at comparatively small expendi- 
ture ; in others it might mean structural altera- 
tions which would be considerable if the ships 
were to be fitted with water ballast. 

1484. Can you differentiate between different 
classes^what class would be easily done and 
what class would not ? Well, the boat I describe 
as the regular tramp would be the one that it 
would be the most difficult to deal with. 

1485. Those are small vessels, are they ? Yes, 
a boat of 250 feet or 350 feet long with as few 
bulkheads and as small a number of decks as the 
classification societies will allow. 

1486. And the smaller ships still to which 
Loi'd Brassey referred just now ? I do not 
think the difficulties would be so gi'cat in regard 
to them. 

1487. In what ships would it be easy to adopt 
the light load line or comparatively easy I 
will say ? I am speaking just now of the diffi- 
culty of adopting regulations as to additional 
water ballast. 

1488. I know that quite well, but I was turning 
to the other j^oint ; it might involve that too ; 
but 1 was turning to the light load lino, suppos- 
ing that we applied that to the class of vessel 
which could most easily and at least expense 
adopt it ? Merely the light load line ? 

1489. Yes? 



12 March 1903.] 

Mr. RowELL. 


Chairman continued. 

1489. Yes ? I think there would be very little 
difl'eraiice, all the fuller ships, the more modern 

1490. I asked what class of ships. Would you 
say the larger ships, or how would you describe 
them ? The fuller ships. 

1491. You were saying just now there were 
different classes of ships, and that it would be 
easier to adopt the li^ht load line in the one case 
than ia the other. I want to know which class 
you think would adopt it most easily ? I think 
the boats running across the Atlantic the boats 
we call " intermediate boats " would be able to 
deal with it most easily. 

1492. And that it would be as difficult with 
the smaller ones as with the medium sized ones ? 

1493. Then again I understood you to say 
there would not be much difficulty with the 
smaller ones to which Lord Brassey referred ? 
It is relatively easy to get the amoimts of ballast 
required for boats like that. 

1494. Is there anything else you wish to say 
to the Committee ? No, I think not. 

Lord Shand. 

1495. In that last case you would have to have 
solid ballast and that would increase the owner's 
expense, while in the case of a fixed light load 
line it would be optional to the owner to put on 
board either solid ballast or water ballast ? Yes. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1496. You have models here I think ? Yes. 
(The Mcxlels are produced.) That is the bow 
of the modem tramp, and that is the line where 
she would cut the water if on a wave of her o^vn 

Lord Muskerry continued. 

length. That is where she would float in still 
water. This is cut off at the load line. 


1497. At the deep load line? At the deep 
load line. That wedge there is added simply to 
show the extremes that builders and owners have 
gone to. If you imagine this to be the centre 
line of the ship that represents the bow of a 
boat we have built with that additional wedge 
on, this is the centre line, and represents the 
same sort of boat seven feet wider, which is a pro- 
portion which has been applied on the north- 
east coast. , This is the model ofa boat within five 
feet of the same length and of very much finer 
form. That boat would have an enormous grip 
of the water and in steering be much more man- 
ageable than the other one Avould ; and I have 
some here that are finer still. This is a boat 320 
feet long by 36 feet 4 inches deep. 

1498. What is the line on that model ? This 
line is the boat floating in still water. This is 
another boat 25 feet longer and nine feet wider 
than it. 

Lord Brassey. 

1499. But that finer form is less adapted for 
cargo ? That is less adapted for cargo, and con- 
sequently it takes less ballast to pvit her down. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1500. But she is a much stronger boat ? She 
is a boat which is much less liable to damage 
herself underneath by the pounding of the waves. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

1501 But not necessarily a stronger boat as. 
far as length goes ? No, but by form. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 

Captain WILLIAM ERSKINE is called in ; and Examined, as follows 


1502. Will you tell us what profession you 
have followed ? Seaman. 

1503. Have you been a master in a merchant 
vessel ? Twenty-nine years. 

1504. Twenty-nine years as master ? Yes. 

1505. In what trade ? I have been in all 
trades except the Baltic, the Indian and China 

1506. Are you a master still ? No, I am a 
nautical as.sessor. 

1567. You have given up going to sea ? Ten 
years ago. 

1508. Then what are you now ? I am a 
Nautical Assessor for the Home Office on Board 
of Trade inquiries. 

1509. Where do you generally hold inquiries ? 
Do you go all over the country ? All over the 

1510. You move about as necessary ? As I 
get orders from the Home Office. 

1511. Now what is the evidence that you 
would like to lay before the Committee ? I 
should like to explain about sailing ships in the 
gjSt place. 


Chairman continued. 

1512. Very well ? As regards sailing ships on 
a long sea voyage at the present time, I do not 
think that they are very much under ballasted, 
if any, and I do not attribute the loss of these 
vessels to the under ballasting ; I mean to say 
that they are improperly ballasted, because there 
is no provision made in these vessels for 
securing the ballast from shifting. I will take a 
vessel, say, from 1,500 to 2,000 tons register ; she 
will havea main hatch say 16feet in length ; down 
in the lower hold there are no stanchions there ; 
there are what are called quarter stanchions ; but 
I do not consider that they are appropriate for 
rationally securing the shifting boards that is, 
planks I mean when I say shifting boards, not 
boards, but planks two or three inches in thick- 
ness, accordmg to the size of the ship. 

1513. You consider that these shifting boards 
are not sufficient now ; is that it ; or that they 
are not properly placed ; or what is it you do 
mean ? I will go further on and explain what I 
mean about the shifting board. The bulk of the 
ballast is usually right in the main hatch lower 
hold where it is easiest tumbled down. Then 

l 2 abafb 



12 March 1903.] 

Captain W. Erskine. 


Chairman continaed. 
abaft the main hatch in most modern ships (and 
old ones too, as far as that goes, except wood) 
they extend to the main mast. Then after 
the main mast there comes the pump well 
casing. Then abaft that there are tanks running 
along the keel longitudinally, and they are 
generally, in a vessel of the dimensions I men- 
tion, about 11 to 12 feet. These which I 
mention last of all makes the ballast on each 
side of them perfectly secure, acting as shifting 
boards. Then what I say is not proper is this, 
that there should be on the lower coamings (that 
is in the 'tween decks] portable beams. 

1514. Transverse beams ? Portable beams. 

1515. I see you use the word "transverse" 
here ? Yes, transverse beams. 

1516. I was only helping you a little? Yes, 
transverse beams that is right to which pillars 
should be secured. 

1517. Pillars ? That is stanchions as we call 
them. I think the proper technical name for 
them now is " pillars ' ; at least the draughtsmen 
:in the yards do use that name. 

1518. "What is the object of those ? Those 
stanchions would be fixed on to the keelson or 
plate, and against these stanchions in ships of 
1,500 to 2,000 tons there should be three trans- 
verse beams and upright pillars ; three would do 
in a ship of that sort. 

1519. The object of those is to resist the 
lateral pressure of the ballast on the shifting 
boards ? Lash these against the portable stan- 
chions or pillars which run fore and aft of the 

1520. But the object of it is to resist the 
lateral pressure of tne ballast? Yes, to resist 
the lateral pressure of the ballast against the 
shifting boards which are put up to prevent it 
shifting, and these shifting boards with ordinary 
ballast need not be lower down than about six 
feet from the keelson. 

1521. Would the expense of what you suggest 
ibe great? No, the expense is a mere trifle. 
These stanchions could be of wood, but for 
myself, I prefer iron stanchions of the same 
diameter as the rest of them which run fore and 
.aft the ship. 

1522. Then do you consider there is consider- 
able danger to ships by the shifting of the 
ballast on sea voyages ? Well, I attribute the 
loss of many vessels to that cause, for some years 
back (say a vessel going across from Shanghai to 
the American coast to load wheat) almost entirely 
to the want of proper shifting boards. I would 
call it ballast improperly secured. 

1523. Then you have got something to say 
on an expression which I do not understand 
exactly " towing" ballast " ? Yes. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

1524. May I ask the nature of the ballast 
vou refer to in speaking of the ships trading 
between Shanghai and America ? Yes, I have 
commanded a steamer and one of the tea clip- 
pers going there ; and the ballast in the ships 
there is merely dug out of the creeks, which are 
plentiful out there slippery wet mud alluvial 
soil it is nothing more nor less ; and ships going 
to th&t port with shifting boards would almost 
require to have the shifting boards watertight ; 

Lord Invtrclyde continued. 

there is great danger of those ships when they 
get to sea capsizing turning over in heavy 


1525. I should like to ask you have you 
knowTi many cases of your own knowledge of 
ships which have been lost when going across 
owing to the ballast shifting? Yes; I get 
all the returns from the Board of Trade for 
inquiries that are held in the United Kingdom ; 
and I have been an inspector in one case myself 
where the vessel was really under ballasted. 

1526. Under-ballasted. That is different to 
what you have been saying ? Yes ; one was 
really under-ballasted. 

1526*. I asked you about shifting ballast. 
There is a distinction between shifting ballast 
and under-ballasting ? I take the ballast that is 
put into a ship, if it is not properly secured, to 
be as much danger to that ship ns if she was 

1527. Then I will go on to what you say 
about to^ving ballast. " lowing ballast," is it, 

or " ? Towing ballast. 1 think it is a 

general thing all round the coast. Supposing a 
vessel on the Continent is going from there to 
Cardiff, to London, or anywhere else, that did 
not intend to use sails at all, if it is a vessel shift- 
ing ports over, say from the Continent to Cardiff 
or anywhere round about the coast, a vessel that 
would be in a proper trim to carry sail at sea on 
900 tons, they would perhaps put on board CI will 
say for one instance) 400 or 500 tons ; no one is 
ever sure of the weather at sea on our coasts ; and 
if the ship is caught in a gale of wind where she 
cannot get shelter, these towing ballasted vessels 
are in great danger, i have been towed by the 
most powerful tug-boats that there are in Liver- 
pool and Glasgow, and none of them can do much 
with a ship if it blows a gale of wind and the sea 
gets up, though the Liverpool tugs hold on to a 
vessel a long time in a pretty rough sea, but even 
they cannot always hold on to you in heavy 
gales ; they have to let you go, and the master 
is perfectly helpless ; he cannot -set his lower 
topsails, nor yet can he set any sails at all with- 
out the chance of the ship turning over. In 
former days, when I was master of a ship, we 
had to sail our ships round the coast with 
ballast. These large ships at the present 
day, with the crews you get nowadays, are so 
hard to work, being so light and with the ditier- 
ent class of seamen you get sometimes, so that it 
is scarcely a matter of choice with the owners, 
and it is better for them to have the ships towed. 

1528. Then you mention some ship here that 
was towed from Fleetwood to Cardiff ; what do 
you say about that ? That was a ship belonging 
to Nova Scotian owners. I was standing along- 
side the captain ; and I said to the captain 
;^I knew him very well) : " That ship has not got 
much ballast in ; how much has she got ? " 
he said. "200 tons." I said, "My Gocl, did 
you come round here, round from Fleetwood, 
with 200 tons ? " and he said, " Yes ; I am afraid 
I will be making a big smash some day." 

1529. What would be his sailing ballast ? 
She was 1,500 tons register; her sailing ballast 
would be about 800 tons. 

1530. What 



12 Mardi 1903.] 

Captain W. Erskine. 


CAotrman continued. 

1530. What is your remedy for this state of 
things where you say ships go to sea very often 
with insufficient ballast ? I have sailed from 
different ports in the kingdom ; I have shifted 
from Limerick to Cardiff; at that time my em- 
ployers were Thomas Skinner and Company, 
of Glasgow and London. I might do what I 
liked ; and when I went round from Limerick to 
Cardiff I put on board 900 tons Register, 1800. 

1531. Then you say much the same about 
cargo steamers, that it is very dangerous when 
thev go to sea in rough weather and they are 
under ballasted ? I have been in a tramp 
steamer and was caught in a gale of wind off 
Flamborough Head, but took good care, as soon 
as that came on from the north-east, to put her 
head out to the northward I got her out to sea, 
this was on a Sunday night, and I did not get 
into Blyth till Tuesday night, and she nearly 
rolled us all to pieces ; we had to lie down on 
the bridge and hold on to it sometimes. 

1532. Have you anything more you want to 
say ?-^No. 

Lord Shnnd. 

1533. You began by saying that you attributed 
accidents mainly to the bad placmg of ballast ; 
but do you mean to say that under ballasting is 
not a great evil ? I say that I do not think 
sailing ships going on long voyages are under 
ballasted ; I think they are fairly ballasted. 

Lord Shand continued. 

1534. Ships going a long voyage ? Ships 
going a long voyage. 

1535. In the case of sueh ships as you have 
been speaking of lately, do you think there is the 
evil of under ballasting or not ? I think there 
should be enough ballast to enable them to do 
something when the wind comes on to blow, 
They miglit not want to be as fully ballasted as 
for voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, but they 
ought to have sufficient so that they can set a 
little sail and run for a roadstead or something of 
that sort. 

1536. What I want to know is this : Do you 
consider that there is now an evil in under- 
ballasting ships ? Yes, my Lord, I do. 

Lord Miiskerry. 

1537. Have you had before you as an assessor 
many cases of under-ballasted steamers ? They 
are very nearly all under-ballasted with water > 
ballast alone going round the coast. 

1538. Do you think a light load line is needed ? 
A light load line is absolutely needed, but it is 
a very difficult thing to find out where to put the 
light load line in these tramp steamers. The 
only way I can suggest for it to be done would 
be that they would have to put in a bulk head 
somewhere about the centre of the ship and fill 
that with water. I know one steamer in Glasgow 
now that is built that way. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 

Adjourned for a short time. 

Mk. a. McGLASHAN is called in; and Examined, as follows: 


1539. Would you say in what capacity you 
come here ? I am the manager of a large ship- 
building yard, Messrs. William Gray and Com- 
pany, Limited, West Hartlepool. 

1.540. Have you been in any naval capacity as 
it were before you became manager to them ? 
I have not been to sea. I have been trained to 
ship building. I have been 17 years naval 
architect with Messrs. William Gray and Com- 
pany, and nearly three years manager. 

1541. Will you say what you wish to bring 
before the Committee ? I nave not prepared 
any definite line of evidence. 

1542. No, 1 have got the various heads here ? 
I am prepared to answer questions or speak 
according to the time you allow me. 

1543. Whichever you prefer. I can follow 
this and lead you up to what you have put 
down ? I propose in speaking to speak as to 
steamers. It is some years since we ceased 
building and fitting out sailing vessels ; therefore 
I propose not to deal with them unless you 
should want to ask any questions. I purpose 
dealing in my remarks with cargo steamers, and 
if the word " tramp " is used I hope it will not 

Chairman continued, 
be with any stigma attaching to it because w 
are large builders of cargo steamers, and they 
are a fine class of steamer for the purpose. 
I purpose to confine my remarks mostly to that 
class of vessel if it is your wish. 

1544. Well, with regard to that class what do 
you wish to say ? The developments in the 
designs and construction of that class have 
led to a condition in which the present vessels 
are not so well provided with water ballast 
capacity in proportion to their requirements 
as vessels doing the same work were, say 
15 or 20 years ago. That has come about 
from a variety of causes. The introduction 
of steel as a building material took a large 
amount off the weight of the ship, which has to 
be made up in ballast or other weight to put the 
steel vessel on an equality ^vith the iron one. 
Then the fuller models that are adopted for 
carrying cargo economically have made ships to 
float lighter in the water than the sharp forms 
which were in vogue 15 or 20 years ago. 
That is another cause why the modern full 
steamer requires more weight to give her a grip 
of the water when she is in an unloaded condi- 
tion. Another cause is that the introduction of 




12 March 1903.] 

Mr. McGlashan. 


Chairman continMBd. 

triple-expansion engines and higher boiler pres- 
sures has reduced the weight of the muchuiery 
as compared with the older compound engine 
and lower boiler pressure. Also the economy in 
the consumption of coal which has resulted from 
the improved machinery and higher boiler pres- 
sures, so that a ship going out on a light passage 
requires a very large percentage less coal than 
ships did 15 to 20 years ago. These causes 
have contributed verv largely to the compara- 
tive want of water ballast capacity in the present- 
day cargo vessels. And there is another law at 
work. At that time vessels carrying cargo 
alone, probably the great majority had a 
dead weight capacity of from 2,000 to 4i,000 tons 
dead weight. Now, many carry as much as 6,000, 
8,000 and 10,000 tons dead' weight. A large 
amount of work is done in vessels of that size. 
The weight of the machinery and the weight 
of the coal consumed, apart from the economy 
due to the triple engines and the higher pressure 
already named, do not at all increase in the 
large ships in anything like the same propor- 
tion as the buoyancy o^ the ship, because the 
larger the ship is the less power it takes to 
drive a ton of displacement through the 
water at a given speed. These are, broadly, 
principles which have been at work, which no 
one can control, because in the natural desire 
for efficiency and economy in carrying cargo, 
owners have stripped their ships of all super- 
fluous weights masts, yards and a lot of deck 
gear heavy outfits, that used to be common, are 
to a large extent, swept away now. This will 
help to a better understanding of the question, 
as showing how the present ships require 
more provision for water ballast than ships 
did before these alterations came in. When 
ships are built in the ordinary way, the 
bottom is usually formed double, and very 
often is of cellular construction, and it is 
usually formed to Lloyds' Rviles ; and an idea 
had got about that Lloyds' Rules, dealing with 
ballast tanks, in some wav dealt witn the 
capacity which a ship should liave ; but they do 
not deal with the double bottom in that light ; 
they deal with it simply as a structure requiring 
a certain amount of strength. The peaks of 
vessels the after peak, particularly in screw 
steamers, is usually fitted to carry water ballast ; 
and there is a movement now to enlarge the 
capacity of the after peak, to give the screw 
better immersion. 

1545. Just as we go on, you say Lloyds' Rules 
deal with the strength of the ship rather than 
with the amount of the water-ballast capacity 
there is in it ? Yes. Lloyds' Rules are framed 
to give a certain strength of bottom, and the 
construction of the double bottom accom- 
plishes two purposes ; first it makes a sufficiently 
strong bottom for the ship to do her work, and 
in the next place it gives capacity for water- 

Lord Shand. 

1546. May I ask a single question. Would 
you mind telling me what you mean by " peak " 

Lord Shand continued. 

as appHed to a vessel. I am a stranger to it ? 
The peak is the extreme end of the vessel from, 
the end to the first bulkhead. 

1547. Ls it at the stern or is it in the bow ? 

1548. Or in both ? Or in both. From the 
stem to the first bulkhead is the forepeak ; from 
the sternpost to the first bulkhead, from it is 
the afterpeak Now, there is a great anxiety on. 
the part of those who are responsible for building 
ships at all events those who are responsible 
for ordering the ships to get sufficient water- 
ballast capacity. Tney naturally feel that the 
ship is more valuable if it can accomplish a 
voyage in any weather without having to go to 
the expense of loading ballast either carrying 
cargo tor nothing as some ships have done or 

Sutting rubbish ballast on board, which many 
o. If the owners could get the necessary 
water-ballast capacity free of cost, or at very 
little cost, and could at the same time get it 
without interfering with the usefulness of the 
ship for carrying cargo, I believe, they would) 
all make provision for it. The only difficulty 
that arises in deciding the matter is the ques- 
tion of cost and the interfering with the ca- 
pacity of the ship or the length of her holds 
for carrjdng cargoes. The watar ballast may 
be can-ied in the manner I have mentioned, 
and is almost in every ship in the bottom and' 
in the after-])eak. It may also be carried in 
a deep tank, which might be called a small 
hold compartment of the ship. In that case it 
is just as useful as it would be either in the peaks 
or the bottom, but the objection to it is that 
tha shortness of the compartment makes it un- 
suitable for carrying bulk cargoes, and the 
work of stowing them ; therefore, owners fight 
shy of having deep tanks in their ships ; they 
have to add the cost of those deep tanks (which 
is considerable) as well. It adds to the diffi- 
culties I have explained. I do not see that 
matters will be improved unless some neutral 
authority can give some guidance to shipowners 
as to tne quantity of ballast , or ballasting 
required to give reasonable safety in the 
work they have to do in the weather they 
might he expected to meet. 


1549. I should rather like, before you get 
to that, for you to say whether, in your opinion,, 
there are many ships sent to sea in an unsea- 
worthy state because of insufficient or impro- 
per ballasting ? I believe that most cargo ships 
a large proportion of them are liable to oe- 
sent to sea without sufficient ballasting, and that 
they are frequently sent so. 

Lord Shand. 

1550. The word " liable " is a doubtful word. 
Do you mean are sent to sea ^because that i^ 
what his Lordship asked? I mean that a ship 
may carry cargoes all the year, or for several' 
years, and not require to make a passage light. 
In that case no question of under ballasting crops 




12 March 1903.] 

Mr. McGlashan. 


Lord Shand continued, 
up. The same ship may be put into another 
trade, and have to make an occasional passage in 
ballast ; that is why I say " liable." A ship may 
be sent to sea which is perfectly seaworthy and 
sound for her work in every condition, but in 
the light condition. 

Lord Muskerry. 
1551. And in ballast? ^Tes. 


1552. Can you say at all to what extent this 
occurs with regard to ships being sent to sea 
without ballast in comparison with the whole 
extent of the shipping trade? I believe the 
number of voyages made in ships insufficiently 
ballasted compared with the vast extent of the 
shipping trade is not great. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1553. Are you keeping liners in? Elimin- 
ate the liners and deal with the rest? ^Eli- 
aninating the liners, there is still a great deal 
of trade done in perfectly safe conditions com- 
pared with the small number of occasions on 
wliich ships go to sea under ballast. 


1554. Can you give at all the propor- 
tion in figures? It is impossible. I 
judge from long contact with shipping men and 
knowing and having designed and built 400 
of these vessels on the north-east coast (400 have 
been built in my time at the works where I am 
now), and meeting in that time with many com- 
petent and experienced men and gathering their 
views. The difficulty is rather a crying one, for 
the reasons I l>ave given. Sometimes dozens of 
ships will be( at ports on the Continent making 
for ports in the United Kingdom ; many of them 
are ships of our own nationality ; they have to 
make their passage across light ; and I have 
known of cases which have been reported to me 
by men who have studied the matter, such as 
officials of shipowners' Societies ; there have 
been as many as two dozen steamers caught in 
gales going in ballast. It is very difficult to say 
what is a large number when dealing with so 
many ships as are in the mercantile marine. 

1555. Do you consider that there is a sufficient 
number of instances of this kind to require some 
regulation or some change ? I do ; and the feel- 
ing is very strong ; in fact it is almost universal 
that it would be a general relief to those respon- 
sible if some line of reasonable safety could be 

1556. Are you aware of what regulations 
already exists which deals with the question? 
I do not know of any law. In all the experience I 
have had in contact with owners, builders, under- 
writers, Board of Trade surveyors, register 
societies, and others : I have never heard anyone 
say there is a rule to show at which draught, or in 
"what condition a ship was properly ballasted. 

i907. That is not exactly what I asked. There 

Chairman continued, 
are certain existing regulations, and there is an 
existing law ; you are not conversant with that, 
are you; or can you say whether that is suffi- 
cient ? I am not conversant with the law ; I 
am afraid it is a very obscure law, because i 
have never known of its coming into operation. 

1558. Then what do you think ought to be 
done? I think that a line ought" to be assigned 
to each ship, showing the minimum draught at 
which that ship should be allowed to proceed to 
sea ; I think that line ought to be in the first in- 
stance drawn with very great regard to the neces- 
sities of those who carry on the trade the ship- 
owners not to hamper them unduly, and not to 
hinder them in their work. 

1559. Do you think that such a line could be 
drawn without hindering and hampering them 
in their work, to use your words? I do. I 
have not had sufficient time or leisure to devote 
to the subject, though for years I have studied 
it largely, and been specially interested in 
the question of water ballast, having de\'ised a 
system by which the ballast is greatlyvincreased 
over what it used to be, and which has been 
adopted now in eight or nine vessels ; and so far 
as my analysis has gone I believe I am safe in 
venturing the opinion that if 55 per cent, of the 
load displacement of a cargo steamer was marked 
ofE, and the line drawn at that, it would give a 
reasonable draught that would ensure reasonable 
safety and manageableness of the vessel at sea. 

1560. Would not the amount of ballast vary 
a good deal according to the shape of the ship 
with the form of the ship ? It would vary with 
everv different size and form of ship. I have 
tried it with different dimensions of ships. 

1561. Then how would you apply this rule. 
How would you carrv it out? It would be ex- 
tremely simple as a basis to cut off 55 per cent, 
of the load displacement, and make certain addi- 
tions to and deductions from this to suit different 
types of vessels by rules in somewhat the same 
way as is now done in determining the deep load 

Lord Shand. 

1562. Has your 55 per cent, any relation to the 
deep load line ? Yes, it has. When the ship is 
loaded to the deep load line her displacement 
might be I will take an instance before me 

1563. Does your 55 per cent, apply to that or 
not to the deep load line ? It applies, my Lord, 
to the displacement at the deep load line. 

1564. What is the displacement which is 
shown by the deep load line ? If the vessel be 
immersed to her deep load line she displaces a 
quantity of water which is known for all ships 
bv the designers, and which is shown in a scale. 
When the ship carries cargo there is a large per- 
centage of the displacement absorbed in carrying 
the weight of the ship and her equipment: 
the balance is cargo-carrying capacity. When a 
ship is ballasted in the ordinary way and coaled, 
say for twenty days, some vessels in that condition 
would not want inuch ballast added by the rule I 
iT9 mentioned ; ome Tiroald slightly exceed it 



12 Alarck 1903.] 

Mr. McGlashan. 


Lord mluind coutinued. 

in displacement and would not need any ballast 

15G5. The rule you have mentioned of 55 per 
cent. ? Yes. 


1566. Who would draw up these tables and 
tules ? I think tiie best way to get a satisfactory 
set of rules would be for all the interests con- 
cerned to be represented by suitable experts ; say 
the Board of Trade as being the administrating 
authority in the coiintry, would have to be repre- 
sented ; but, as parties more capable (from their 
having the particulars in their possession) of 
dealing with this question, the owners and the 
builders, with experts from Lloyds' and other 
register societies, and men of experience at sea 
should be also represented. 

1507. And these tables and rules are framed 
you think, would cause not much expense and 
hindrance to the shipping trade ? In some cases 
they might ; in other cases they would cause none. 
It would only be in cases where the provision for 
ballasting the ship is not sufficient to make the 
ballasted displacement equal the percentage, 55 
or whatever else might be fixed upon, of the load 

15t)8. What class of ship would that be? 
ilostly ships built for carrying cargo. This 
question would not att'ect fast steamers which 
have large weights of machinery on board and 
coal, and a lot of fittings for passengers ; these 
ships, I think, are out of the category requiring 
to be dealt with by the light load line ; all sharp, 
high-speed vessels would be entirely clear of it : 
they would not be affected by it. 

1569. In ships that would be affected by it 
they would require a considerable expenditure to 
fit more water tanks, I suppose? Yes. If I 
might give you an instance, it would perhaps 
make it clearer. A steamer with a load displace- 
ment of 8.7}^0 tons, has a weiglit when fully 
equipped of 2,560 tons on board ; if she had coal 
for 20 days the weight of the coal would be 400 
tons ; the water ballast capacity of the steamer 
with which I am dealng is 1,862 tons; the 
weight of that ship steaming out in these condi- 
tions would be 4,822 tons ; which is about 55 per 
cent, of the load displacement. That is the case 
orf a vessel which has 721 tons more ballast pro- 
vided than the double bottom and the peaks give. 

Lord Musherry. 

1570. That is more ballast than the usual run 
of steamers about the same size carry ? ^Yes ; 
identical ships without this extra provision for 
water ballast would have 721 tons less ballast 
capacity. I might say that in our experience we 
have seen vessels of the class that I mention of, 
say, 6,000 tons dead weight capacity, have placed 
on the after deck 200 to 300 tons of rubbish bal- 
last ; especially if they are wide ships, but if not 
wide ships they would have to have some of it in 
the hold. We ought to separate the idea of ballast 
for steadying the ship from that for the purpose 
of loiding the ship to a given draught. I 
explain that to phow why it is sometimes on deck 

Lord Muakerry continued, 
and sometimes in the bottom. It is sometimes 
on deck with perfect safety if it is secured. 
Another ship of the same capacity, but of 
different proportions, might have a portion of this 
ballast in the bottom, because of her less stable 
proportions. This rubbish ballast on deck is 
sometimes boarded ill over with rough slabs of 
wood, and ropes tied across those boards, so that 
in a rough and ready way the ballast is secured 
from being rolled overboard. In other cases the 
ballast is put on deck without the boarding and 
roping ; and I have been informed by those who 
have had charge of such ships that a good part of 
the loose ballast has been pitched overboard in 
the rolling. That must be very unsatisfactory. 
Loose rubbish ballast in the bottom if it is not 
secured in some way may shift to one side, and be 
troublesome in giving the ship a list. 


1571. And do you think accidents happen im 
consequence of this ? I believe that many acci- 
dents happen to shps because of their being unaer 

1572. Or the shifting of ballast. This is what 
you call shipping of ballast, this ballast which 
may be washed over at any moment? I do not 
think accidents happen unless a man happening 
to be in the vicinity should get his footing inter- 
fered with, and be rolled over in any way. I do 
not think damage happens to the steamers I men- 
tion from the ballast slipping other than this 
that when it rolls over they have less ballast 
han was intended, and material that owners 
went to the expense of putting on board is gone- 
without doing its work. 

1573. Then do you consider this kind of 
ballast ought to be interfered with by regulation, 
or ill some other way ? My idea is that such 
a system of ballasting would become obsolete if 
regulations were once pa.ssed. It costs money to 
get that ballast : in some places it cannot be got 
even for reasonable money ; then it costs money 
to put it on board and to get rid of it again. If 
driven by stress of weather into port with this 
ballast it costs a lot to get rid of it ; the port 
authorities will not allow it to be discharged 
unless at certain places. I mention that to show 
that it is a real difficulty which the shipowners 
are fighting with and in many cases endeavour- 
ing to overcome at considerable expense. 

1574. Then I think you wish to s<ay something 
about these tables or rules; that if they were ap- 
plied they should only be applied for a time to 
see as to their suitability and that they could be 
altered afterwards ; is that so ? Yes. I re- 
member when the load line tables were being 
framed great difficulty was found in arriving at 
the tables and rules as adopted. The Board of 
Trade alone, to my knov.'ledge, through their 
various officers issued several regulations. 
The late Sir William Gray, who was my 
employer at that time, was on the Com- 
mittee and I had to work out many of the 
problems and probably saw more of Ihe diffi- 
culties in that way than I should otherwise 




12 March 1903.] 

Air. McGlashax. 


Chairman continued. 

have done ; and I am convinced that no one man 
and no few men can alone construct tables that 
would be fair to everybody. They must get the 
different interests represented. When that is 
done the results of their combined efforts must be 
put to the test. That was done and the effect 
on a number of ships brought before the Com- 
mittee when the load line was introduced and the 
cases thoroughly sifted in the minds of those 
who had studied the question and seen it tried 
and wTought out, resulted in very large modifica- 
tions of the first proposals of the load line rules. 

1575. Do you think that is indispensable, 
the uncertainty and the necessity ; because it 
might lead to very serious costs and difficulties 
vfim shipowners, if they went to some expense 
to cany out one particular line and then had to 
alter it again afterwards ? That is quite true. I 
have thought of that. Of course there wovild be 
no need for regulation if it did not involve some 
expense to somebody and some hindrance ; but 
I still think, keeping all that in view, something 
might be done to give some degree of certainty 
to those who have to do with sending ships 
to sea as to what would be a reasonable and safe 
light load line. 

1576. Then what do you say with regard to 
foreign vessels ? Well, it has always seemed 
to me a hardship that these regulations which 
are enforced for the saving of life should in many allow foreign ships to earn larger profits in 
competition with our own shipowners. The same 
thing occurs with the load line at present, and 
no effort is ever made so far as I know (and I see 
hundreds of ships going out, but no detaining) 
to insist upon a load line in the case of foreign 

1577. You mean the deep load line? The 
deep load line. 

1578. And has that caused serious competition 
and difficulty with our shipowners as compared 
with foreigners ? It causes a good deal oi dis- 
satisfaction and, I V^elieve, real undercutting in 
the freight market. It may be known (it is, I 
believe, quite correct) that when the load line 
came into operation a good many of the ships 
which were not just of the type which best 
suited the load line, were disposed of. By 
degrees they were sold to foreigners. 

Lord Shand. 

1579. Do you mean English or foreign ? 
English ships, my Lord, were sold to foreigners they were somewhat handicapped when 
the load line regulations came in. 


1580. The new regulations could not be 
applied to those ships, is that so? When it 
was applied they felt it was rather hard. 
Identical ships, built by the same builders, 
sailing one under a foreign flag the other under 
the home flag, the ship under the foreign flag 
would carry enough extra cargo to leave a hand^ 
some profit when the other would carry just 
enough to pay the of the voyage. I 
have seen that recently ; one of the ships that I 
have mentioned here which had extra ballast 


Chairvian continued, 
tank capacity went into a trade from Newfound- 
land to one of the ports of the States with iron 
ore. I do not care about giving the names of 
ships because that m^ht bring me into conflict 
Avitli the owners, and I have not their permission 
to give the names. This ship was a good well- 
found ship, having extra provision for ballast. 
One way the run was made light, the other 
loaded, and I was particularly interested in 
the ship, because of the provision for ballast 
she had; in getting returns, I compared 
the cargo allowed by our load line with the 
cargo that this ship actually carried when 
running loaded, and I was astonished to find 
that this ship of 6,200 tons dead weight capacity 
invariably on three voyages under that charter 
carried from 300 to 400 tons more cargo than 
would have been possible had she been registered 
under the English flag, and she did it with 
perfect safety ; and, knowing that, I say it 
would not be reasonable to handicap our trade 
as against foreign competitors coming into our 

1581. You think that did happen under the 
deep load line regulations ? It did, and does 

Lord Shand. 

1582. Are you prepared to say that in this case 
where the foreigner had the advantage they were 
clearly below the Plimsoll line ? Yes. 

1583. Clearly below the statutory line for 
England ? ^Yes. 


1584. Do owners of ships think it is right to 
have the deep load line carried out or not in 
view of this competition with foreign ships 
which can carry a heavier cargo than they 
can ? There is a general sense of relief that 
there is the load line, but there is a feeling of 
hardship that in competition in the same trade 
coming into our ports foreign ships can undercut 
our owners by reason of being able to carry more 
cargo at the same expense. 

1585. Would there be the same sort of loss if 
you had a light load line as there has been with 
the deep load line. It is not a question of cargo 
any more it is a question as 1 understand (I 
may be \VTong) simply of ballast ? Yes, the same 
thing could occur in applying the light load line, 
Supposing you were to fix on a light load line 
and say : The light load line will require a certain 
draught of water ; and you take a good ship and 
put her to sea with just sufficient coal for her 
passage and a little to spare and all 
the ballast tanks full, and the officer comes 
along and says: Now this ship is not 
down to the light load line, she requires 500 tons 
more weight in her ; the owner would be com- 
pelled, if there was a law compelling him to do 
It, to find this 500 tons. That would cost him 
money to find and to put on board, and the delay 
would cause considerable loss, also the cost of 
getting rid of the ballast. A similar ship we 
build ships off the one model sometimes for a 
foreign owner as well as for a home owner, almost 
identical a similar ship coming from any of the 

M Continental 



12 Mnrrl, iyO;i.j 

.Mr. McGlasha.n. 

[( 'tntli II lied. 

CluiiriiMu coutinueu. 
Continental ports sailing under thoirflag but not 
subject to that would save that expense. 

Lord Muakerry. 

1586. Touching those two ships, we will 
assume that your two ships arc sailing together 
the home ship the owner has lost so much 
money in putting her down sufficiently they 
both sail across the Western seas and meet bad 
weather, is not it reasonable to suppose that the 
ship sufficiently ballasted will Tuake a quicker 
passage and better passage than the one that is 
msufficiently ballasted ? Yes. 

1587. And would not that be a sjvving of 
money there ? Yes. 


1588. Now, just to continue : Would you say 
that the loss incurred in finding more ballast is 
as great as the loss in having to carry this cargo, 
I mean comparing the light load line with tne 
deep load line ? -I do not think that the effect 
on the shipping trade would be so great for this 
reason, that every ship carrying neavy cargo 
would be atiected fcy the deep load line m rela- 
tion to foreign competition, and that would apply 
at least either on the outward or homeward 
voyage in every case. The light load line might 
not apply for the reasons 1 nave stated over a 
considerable period if the ship was not engaged 
in work which required it to nave the ballast. 

1589. Then although you say you believe there 
is a sense of relief now, and that owners on the 
whole are .satisfied with having the deep load 
line, you must admit that the difficulties and 
dangers that were overcome by the deep load 
line were gi-eater than the difficulties and 
dangers to be overcome now by the light load 
line. What do you say to that ? Yes, I think 
they were. I think the light load line could be 
as readily arrived at as the deep load line was. 

1590. As easily arrived at ? As easily arrived 
at as the deep load line. 

1591. What I want to know is. Do you con- 
sider the necessity is so great now as it was for 
the deep load line when that was applied ? I 
would not go that length. 

1592. You would not say so ? No. 

Lord tihand. 

1593. I understootl you to say to his Lordship 
that the light load line would not affect British 
.shippers worse than the deep load line does in 
respect of the matters you have mentioned ? 
No, it would not ; not so much. 


1594. But although you do not think the 
necessity for legislation is so great now you do 
think there is sufficient danger and sufficient 
difficulty with reg<ard to ships in ballast to re- 
quire some alteration of the law or some modifi- 
cation in some way or some regulations ? I think 
It would be satisfactory if some regulation could 
be made, but every interest should be considered 
before making sucn a law. 

1595. And that you would do by having a 
very broad committee comprising all sorts of 
dififerent interests. Is that the way you would 

('Uainimu continued, 
meet it ^--Ycs, that is the only way I see of 
arriving at it. 

159G. I do not know if you have anything 
more you want to say on your own initiative ? 
No, probably I have said .sufficient. 

Lord Wolverton. 

1597. I understand you foresee considerable 
difficulties in fixing this light load line, do not 
you, from your last remark ? Given a position 
clear of the conflicting money interests there is 
no difficulty. 

1598. Then on the money interest you are very 
familiar, I suppose, with the cargo traffic ? Yes. 

1599. Are sliipowners doing well now ? Li 
point of earning ? 

1600. Yes? Well, we are on a bad time just 
now ; we are in the hollow of the wave. 

1601. Times are bad m the shipping world ? 

1602. Do you think it is a time now to put 
any further restrictions on a trade that is already 
bad ? I have been careful to mention that re- 
strictions should not be put on. 

1603. In fact you would want to have a very 
strqng case made out for any alteration in the 
existing law, which vou .said you were not aware 
of, I believe, in the Merchant Shipping Act ? 1 
have read the Merchant Shipping Act through 
and through a good many years ago. 

1604. But you are not familiar with it ? I am 
not familiar with it. 

1605. You are not familiar with this this is 
the existing law : " If any person sends, or 
attempts to send, or is a party to sending or 
attempting to send a British ship to sea in such 
an unseaworthy state that the life of any person 
is likely to be thereby endangered, he shall in 
respect of each offence be guilty of a misde- 
meanour." You did not know that, I suppose ? 
Yes ; I did know that there was a possibility 
under the law of making it a misdemeanour, but 
the law is defective in this that there is no rule 
to guide any one. 

1606. There is no rule that would make you 
see that it was unseaworthy. Then I will take 
you on if you do not mind to Section 459 : 
" Where a British ship being in any port in the 
United Kingdom is an unsafe ship, that is to 
say, is by reason of the defective condition of 
her hull, equipments or machinery or by reason 
of overloading or improper loading unfit to 
proceed to sea without serious danger to human 
life, having regard to the nature of the service 
for which she is intended, such ship may be 
provisionally detained." That is the law at the 
present moment. You were not aware of that. 
You were not aware that the Board of Trade had 
the power to detain ? That does not deal with 
under loading. 

1607. It deals with improper loading ? I am 
safe in saying wthout sjvying too much in the 
presence of your Lordship, that there is no 
standard known to any man by which he may 
reasonably say whether his ship is immersed to 
a proper draught for going to sea. There is no 
standard known that any other man might not 
quite disagree with, and the law is not po.ssible 
to comply with. 

1608. I am 



12 March 1903.] 

Mr. McGlashan. 


Lord Woiverton continueil. 

J^IUOS. I am afraid you are not quite answering 
my question. The words used wore " or iiu- 

S roper loading," that surely means light loading, 
oes it not ? It is usually looked upon as no 
loading at all to go in ballast ; it is an unloaded 

I(i09. Then it goes on to say, " unlit to proceed 
to sea without serious danger to human life ? 

1610. However, you \vere not aware of these 
very stroiig sections ( \ iis. 

1611. You were not familiar with them? 
Not familar Avith them, but of course I take a 
special interest in the cases; and in the last 
SIX }eiirs there is scarcely an important case 
reported that I have not been furnished with 
intoi-mation of; and still notwithstanding the 
provisions made, I think that the difficulty is not 
for want of power to prosecute. 

1612. You think these sections are strong 
enough ? They are quite strong enough to 
prosecute a man, but I say without hesitation it 
would be wrong to prosecute any man without 
you first tell him the standard lie is to go by. 
No man has any guide at present. 

1613. You mean that surveyors cannot say 
that a ship looks unsea worthy by looking at it ? 
That is it. 

16 14. This is very important. Some witnesses 
have been here and told us that they have never 
known any case yet of a ship being detained, is 
that your opinion ? I have not known of a ship 
being detained for being under loaded. 

161.5. You have never heard of such as ship ' 
being detained ? No. 

Lord Bhand. 

1616. I from the evidence you have 
given to-day you are of opinion that many ships 
should have been detained although the Board 
of Trade have not thought fit, or their Inspector, 
to detain any one '( Yes. I believe from the 
results of inquiries where captains have been 
censured and owners too that that that is a pro- 
per assertion to make. 

1617. And I understand you to say that these 
general provisions or expressions, mentioning 
merely unseaworthy ships, or ships unsafe to go 
to sea or .sailors prosecuted for desertion, have 
not been interpreted in point of fact by the 
Board of Trade as throwing upon them the 
dut\- of detaining ships in many cases where 
you think they should have been detained ? 
That is so. 

1618. And that this is wanted because the 
general terms of that Statute are not sufficient 
tor the purpose ? That is it. The reference 
read out from the Act as to overloading has a 
meaning when there is a load line to go by, 
but no reference in the Act to underloading 
seems to me to have point from the fact that 
tbfre is nothing to guide us. 

Lord Wolverton. 

1619. Thase do not refer to overloading at all ? 
Your Lordship read " overloading " I think. 

1 620. They come under " unseaworthy ships," 
that is the heading with which the section 
begias " unseaworthy ships," ships not fit 
to go to sea ? What we find jilmut these ships 


Lord Waive i ion con tinned, 
is that they are all of them ships fit to go to 
sea and in ordinary fair conditions they would 
certainly reach their port ; but it is when they 
are caught in gales such as we had tAvo or three 
weeks ago that such ships are in danger. There 
is force in the Act as applied in the ease of over- 
loading because of the deep load line. Many 
ships could with perfect safetj- go anywhere with 
a gi-eater quantity of cargo on board than the 
load line allows them, but only if they meet with 
favourable weather; therefore, we want some 
guide also in the case of underloading. 

Lord Shand. 

1621. When you say you want a guide, you 
want something more than these general terms,. 
such as " unseaworthy ships " ? Yes. 

1622. Or " ships that are improperly loaded " ;. 
you want something much more clear as a guide, 
both for the Inspectors and the Board, than there 

s in the Statute ? Yes 

1623. Do you think it is at all a safe position 
for any inspector, who can only generally say 
that a ship is improperly loaded, or do you think 
that he is safe without some more definite rule 
than is found in the Statute ? I do not think 
that anj surveyor could take the responsibility 
upon himself of detaining a ship for being under- 

1624. And are you aware that if a surveyor 
makes a mistake in that matter, under the Sta- 
tute, the Board of Trade is liable in damages to 
the owner of the vessel ; or where you not aware 

of that ? I believe that I did know of that ; I had 
not been thinking of it, but it is a fact. 

1625. In thinkin'f of it, have vou the slightest 
doubt that it must be a gi*eat deterrent on the 
part of an inspector in detaining a ship the 
knowledge that if he makes a mistake in that 
matter, without a special guide, the Board of 
Trade is liable in damages ? Yes, it is a great 
deterrent ; in fact, I know that much less im- 
portant matters make a surveyor pause, and he 
refers at once to London for instructions, and 
then a tedious process of delay tocs on, and it is 
found much better not to interfere, unless there 
is a strong case. 

1626. What do you moan exactly by " load 
displacement " I am afraid I do not kiww that ? 
When a vessel is launched into the water she 
displaces a quantity of water. 

1627. Without cargo that is? In any condi- 
tion. The further she is immersed in the water 
the more water she displaces. 

1628. When you have been speaking of load 
displacement have you referred generally to ships 
with cargoes on board or ships without cargo ? 
The load displacement is that weight which the 
ship would carry in cargo added to her own 
weight when she is loaded to the load line. 

1629. Oh, it is both ? It is both. Yes. 

1630. So that is practically brings you round 
to what I may popularly call the Plimsoll line, or 
near it ? It is a recognition of that line as a 
measure from which to get the other line the 
proposed light line. 

1631. You made a suggestion that I do not 
think has been made before that there is a 

M 2 diffi'Miltv 



12 March 1903.] 

Mr. McGlashan. 


Lord Shand continued. 

difficulty in our dealing finally in a matter of 
this kind that is, that you think a committee 
of some kind of different interests would require 
to consider the different rules if there were to be 
any new rule or new regulation introduced ? 
r imagine for this select committee, getting 
evidence from different quarters not specially 
sifted, it would not be possible to frame any 
regulations until the proposed committee that 
I suggest had met and got particular evidence. 

1632. But even supposing such a conmiittee 
were sitting what power could there be in in- 
troducing a rule of that kind introducing the 
result of their observations I do not quite 
follow it ? Well, that is more a matter for legis- 
lation. I believe that we are working round to 
a general recognition of the necessity of some- 
thmg of the kind. 

1633. But would that not be more suited for 
a reference to the Board of Trade as a State 
authority than for anything else ? Yes. I 
believe tnat is a subject that sliould be taken in 
hand by orders of Parliament, probably con- 
ducted by the Board of Trade, but not at all 
^letermined by the Board of Trade officials. 

1634. Not by the Board of Trade alone you 
mean ? Not by the Board of Trade alone. 

1635. But the Board of Trade with the ad- 
vantage of a gi'eat deal of evidence of that kind ? 
Yes, that is it, the Board of Trade to have 
pei'haps, the leading guiding representatives 
on it. Such a thing was done to a large extent 
in the case of the Load Line Committee. Ex- 
perts went round the country and visited ships 
and took particulars ; there were representatives 
from different authorities, and there was evidence 
taken from every class interested ; in that way 
thev arrived at the present load line tables ; and 
I tnink something similar to that on a much 
jess scale would suffice. 

1636. I suppose in that case the Board of 
Trade would be the ruling matter in the result ? 
There is not such confidence in the Board of 
Trade staff that one would expect satisfaction 
from their decision. The great underwriting and 
register societies would command more confi- 
dence, such as Lloyds' Register, and the 

1637. If enquiry were made ? Yes. As a 
matter of fact the load line tables were based 
upon what was drawn up by Lloyds' Register, 
and applied by them previously before they 
became law at all. 

1638. I suppose the deep load line was laid 
down under a report from a Committee of the 
House of Lords ? Yes, that was so ; but before 
the Load Line Bill was accepted the present 
tables, which now fix the load linC; were 
practically Lloyds' tables were recommended 
by them and were permissive for some years ; 
and the various rules proposed by the Board of 
Trade were finally abandoned and these tables 
which had been prepared by Lloyds and recom- 
mended by them, with modifications suggested 
by them, and modifications suggested fey the 
B'oard of Trade and other interests were finally 


1639. We had it suggested the other day 
that the law might be strengthened by inserting 
in the Shipping Act, or amending the clause 
with regard to loss of life, something to this 
effect tliat the particular attention of the Board 
of Trade Inspectors should be given to .ships 
going out of port or coming in m ballast with 
msutiicient ballast. That was a suggestion. 
Now, in listening to your evidence, I was a little 
doubtful whether you thought that sufficient, or 
whether you thought it necessary to give some- 
thing as definite as an actual light load line 
That is what I want to know. Which do you 
think ? I think the indefiniteness of the word 
" insufficient " would always raise trouble unless 
you at the same time issued a guidance to the 
shipowning public as to what you considered 

1640. How would you define the word " suffi- 
ciently " ; by a light load line or by some words 
in an Act of Parhament, or by a regulation of 
the Board of Trade ? The best way, and the 
most sure way to effect the purpose would be by 
a light load hne. 

Lord Shand. 

1641. Do you see any objection to making the 
rules that are in force m our country enforceable 
against foreigners by providing that in any case 
in Avhich they come into our port they must 
comply with these rules ? I think it is only 
reasonable that they should do so, and I do not 
see any real difficulty in the Avay. 

1642. The only question there would be the 
question of international politics, but otherwise 
it would be quite easily worked in that way ? 
Yes ; I think the Foreign Office could easily get 
that pan of it put right, and the shipping 
experts could easily deal with the other. 

1643. And I suppose when our ships go to 
foreign ports they have to comply vrith the 
regulations that they find there ? -Yes. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

1644. Did you say you considered that nearly 
all the ships that went to sea in ballast ouj^ht to 
have been detained by the Board of Trade ? 
No, I did not. 

1645. In answer to a question put by Lord 
Shand, I think you said you thought that the 
ships that went to sea in ballast should have been 
detained by the Board of Trade ? I do not see 
how the Board of Trade can at present detain 
ships, but I believe that if regulations were 
made there might be a good number of them 
liable to be detained on occasions. 

1646. Then do you think there have been a 
number of ships that have gone to sea in- 
sufficiently ballasted that ouglit to have been 
detained ? Yes, I certainly think that. I think 
I have almost the solid support of the shipping 
community in saying that there have been a 
number of them that ought to have been 

1647. Can you tell us whether in consequence 
of these ships not having been detained and to 
what extent, there has oceu loss of life ? That 
I cannot tell ; it is a feature of the subject that I 
have not specially studied ; damage has occurred. 

1648. Can 



12 March 1&03.] 

Mr. McGlashan. 


Lord Inverdyde continued. 

1648 Can you tell us the extent of damage 
there has been owing to ships insufficiently 
ballasted not having been detained ? I could 
not give any definite figures ; but I should say 
that for the last half-dozen years, dozens of ships 
have had the forepart of them severely strained 
and leaked heavily after making ballast passages 
and that a great many have had the machinery 
deranged from the same cause. 

1649. Do you agi-ee Avith the evidence we have 
had that during this last half-dozen years the 
question of damage has arisen owing to the 
change in the construction and building of ships 
compared with what it used to be formerly ? 
In a large measure ; and probably partly because 
there is more work to be done now in ballast 
from the exigencies of the trade. 

1650. Has it been found that since .ship 
owners and ship builders have learned more of 
what is required now, there has been an increase 
of accidents in. ships going to sea under- 
ballasted ? On that I am not sufficiently in- 
formed in detail. Accidents are still occurring. 
Certainly precautions have been taken ; Lloyds 
have issued regulations which have considerably 
strengthened vessels forward. One provision 
is with regard to riveting : they have also in- 
crea.sed the diameters of the shafts another 
provision which is important in order to meet 
this difficulty of sailing in ballast. 

1651. So that the knowledge that experts 
have gained in the last few years in regard to 
the construction of ships is leading to those 
errors being rectified that caused damage before ? 
In some cases ; but of course having regard to 
the monetary considerations a good many would 
be very slow to follow. Sucn regulations as 
Lloyds' make are sure to go through because no 
ship could get her class without complying with 
them ; but that does not deal with ships already 
afloat, and that may at any time be sent to sea 
insufficiently ballasted. 

1652. Then if you were to find that there was 
no very great loss of life but only damage to 
property which could be rectified, or which could 
be guarded against in other ways, would not you 
think there would be considerable difficulty in 
arriving at what the light load line should be, 
looking at all the interests involved in the com- 
petition of British shipowners with foreign ship- 
owners ? If it could be shown that there was no 
danger to life and limb from insufficient ballast- 
ing, it would be a serious matter to begin to fix 
the light load line on account of the ships alone. 

1653. Then I think you took some part in the 
discussion with regard to Mr. Chaston's paper 
upon under-ballasting ? I was not present, but 
I sent a short contribution to it. 

1654. Then you know, I suppose, about his 
paper ?.^Yes. 

1G55. Taking it in a general way, do you agree 
with his views, or not ] Yes. As far as I re- 
collect though I have not read his paper for 
some time I do agree with his conclusions, 
which were that there was far too little ballast 

1656. The conclusions that he seems to have 
arrived at are that the dangers arising to pro- 

Lord Inverdyde continued. 

perty through insufficient ballasting are rectify- 
ing themselves by the experience gained by ship 
builders and shipo-\vners within the last few years ? 
I am not prepared to support that. I cannot be 
in conflict Avith shipowners nor shipbuilders 
either for reasons which will appeal to you. 
There is, notwithstanding the improvement which 
has taken place in some directions, a lot of lee- 
way to make up in not providing sufficient 
ballasting, particularly as there are so many 
larger ships building which in themselves re- 
quire a far greater amount of ballast capacity 
tnan was required before with smaller vessels. 

1657. Still from the evidence you have given 
to-day am I right in taking it that you think 
there are considerable difficulties in arriving at 
the light load line in view of the particular 
interests involved ? I think so. There are im- 
portant interests to be carefully considered before 
interfering ^vith trade, and therefore I propose 
that any light load line rules or regulations 
should be made somewhat permissive or tenta- 
tive until their necessity is thoroughly appre- 
ciated and their adaptability approved. 

Lord Brassey. 

1658. You referred in your evidence to the 
gales which we recently experienced of very 
unusual severity ; have any cases come to your 
knowledge during the prevalence of those gales 
of loss of life at saa in vessels which were under- 
ballasted ? No, I do not know of a ease of loss 
of life that has been proved to be due to under- 
ballasting. Ships have gone ashore due to 
under-ballasting, but whether there was life lost 
I could not say ; certainly ships have gone 
ashore due to want of ballast, and ships nave 
had to run in for shelter for want of ballast. 

1659. Your evidence seems to be clear that 
your experience as a ship builder and a designer 
of ships lies mainly in steam ships ? Yes. 

1660. In the case of vessels of that class you 
have a ready means of supplying ballast by the 
use of water ballast ? Yes. 

1661. It is by the use of water ballast that you 
_ropose they should be brought down to a proper 
oad line ? Yes. 

1662. In the case of the class of vessels that 
we are contemplating, it is comparatively an in- 
expensive matter to supply the necessary weight 
of ballast ? Comparatively. 

1663. Comparatively inexpensive ? If the 
ballast has to be provided it is certainly the best 
and cheapest metnod of providing it. 

1664. By means of water ballast ? By means 
of water compartments. 

1665. If we carry our thoughts to a totally 
different class of vessel to the smaller vessels 
engaged on our coastwise trades the schooners, 
ketches, barges, billybuoys, and vessels of that 
class the means of bringing them down to 
what you consider a prudent draught by water 
ballast is not available ? Not as a rule with 
wooden craft. 

1666. It would be necessary in their case to 
ballast with shingle or some other ballast of that 
description ? Yes. 

1667. The operation of ballasting a vessel of 





12 March 1903.] 

Mr. McGlashan. 


Lord BroHsey continued. 

that description with ballast is necessarily more 
costly, is it not, than the halliisting of a steamer 
with water ballast f Yes. 

1068. Therefore it follows in the ciiso of 
ves->els of that class that to impose a rule with 
reference to the light load line would put the 
owners relatively to more expense than in the 
case of ownera of the steamer class of which yoi: 
spoke ? Yes, it would. 

1669. And their trade is a very struggling 
trade, is it not ? Yes. 

1670. It is very hard for that class of owner 
to make a living ? Yes, they are dying out 
against the railwa3^s and steamers. 

1671. Then tlie vessel so employed are under 
the command of men who have great local 
knowledge, and are very experienced judges of 
weather, and if they see signs of bad weather 
they are very clever in finuing their way into 
port in good time, is not that the case ? Ye.s. 

1672. That would have to be taken into view 
in the fixing of a light load line upon vessels of 
that class, would it not ? It would. 

1673. It adds to the dithculty of the subject 
in that particular ? Yes. Of course there 
would be a good many exemptions for cases of 
vessels that were not going far from land at an}' 
time, such as there are for vessels just now, 
coasting craft and that kind, which are exempt 
from regulations in the Merchant Shipping Act, 
ships not proceeding beyond certain pomts. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1674. Referring to the question Lord Brassey 
just now put to you, f believe in the case of a 
great number of these small barges there is no 
mark put upon them at all ; they do not even 
come mider the deep load line, do they ? -No, 
barges do not, I think. 

Lord Bncsfici/. 

1675. What are described as billy-buoys, I 
should think you would hardly allow that it is 
the case that the billy-buoy is not marked with 
the Plimsoll mark ? I think all registered ships 
that proceed out to sea are marked. 

Lord Mu-skeri'y. 

1676. I do not suppose you remember when 
the Plimsoll line came in ? Yes, I do remember 

1677. There was net, after all, such a very 
great loss of life proved when that was being 
agitated for, was there ? T believe not. 

1678. It wa,s only a few of the owners who 
sent these ships to sea in such an extremely 
dangerous manner ; it was not a great number 
of them ? No, I believe it was not. 

Lord Maokurry continued. 

1679. Now. since that deep load lino has lx;en 
brought in, has it not been actmitted to be a great 
benefit to the seafaring coranmnity at large ? 
Yes, I said I thought it gave a feelmg of relief 

1680. Do you think it would be possible, or do 
you think any detention for overloading would 
occur in any of our ports, unless ^-ou Yiad the 
deep load line mark ;' It would be impossible for 
anv surveyor to say that a ship was too heavily 
laden, would it not '. It was mipossible at the 
time before the load line rules were brought out. 

1681. I will take another thing. You coasider 
insufficient ballasting is proved in a great num- 
ber of cases { It is proved ; it is admitted as 

1682. Therefore, also, imseaworthiness is ad- 
mitted, is it not ? Ye.s. 

1683. An insufficiently l)allasted ship is unsea- 
worthy ? Yes. 

I(i84.' Therefore there is a risk to life, Is there 
not ? There is. 

1685. If a vessel is unsea worthy there is a risk 
to life ; then how can you bring pecuniary con 
side rations into the question ? Well, men risk 
their lives for money you know. 

1686. One other thmg. The machinery that 
is available for assigning the deep load line is 
also available for assigning a light load line ? 

1687. AnJ there should be no more trouble in 
assigning that than in assigning the deep load 
line i No. 


168X. There was a question put, just now with 
reganl to whether any ships were exempted from 
having any load line. Are you aware that the 
438th Section of the Merchant Shipping Act 
defines that and practically exempts the follow- 
ing ships from the mark " except ships under 
80 tons register employed solely m the coasting 
trade, ships emj^loyed solely in fishing and plea- 
sure yachts " ? Yes, I am aware of that. I did 
not know the exact figure of 80 tons, but I know 
those vessels are exempt. 

1689. In applying the light load line do you 
think it would be possible to make exemptions 
there either the same exemptions as those or 
even other exemptions for different classes of 
ships ? I think the same exemptions might at 
least be made as ar(^ made in the case of the load 

Lord Sluind. 

1690. The 80 tons ? Yes ; though I will not 
profess to put much weight upon my opinion as 
to that ; but 1 certainly see no reason why a 
great many small craft should n^* be entirely 
exempt fi-om this question. 

The Witness is directed to withdraw 



12 March 1903. 

Caitain ANDREW CUNNINGHAME is called in; and Examined, a.s follows: 


1691. Will you say what your experience has 
oeen which makes you desire to come before us 
to-day? I have been a master mariner and I 
am, at present a Xautical Assessor on the list 
of the Home Office for inquirinj^ into shipping 

1692. How long Kfive you been a master 
mariner ? Thirteen years. 

1693. You were a master mariner 13 years ? 

1694. And how long have you been an a.ssessor ? 
Fourteen years. 

1695. Are you going to give evidence with re- 
gard to sailing ships ? Sailing ships chiefly. 

1696. In ballast f In ballast. 

1G97. Will vou tell us what you wish to bring 
before us :' Well of course the point thr.t ap- 
peals to me is veiy nuich that which the prcvi( , i-. 
witnesses have Vjeen Siiying. 

1698. May I just take this up. We have had 
a good many witnesses masters and others, who 
all say that ships with insufficient ballast are 
dangerous very often at sea and are unmanage- 
able, do you agree to that ? I agree with that, 
but I nuist state that my cases are of sailing 
ships. They are not only dangerous at sea but 
there have repeatedly been vessels gone a-missing 
that in my opinion were undor-ballasted and all 
the lives wery lost. 

1699. And when a ship is imder-ballasted the 
machinery often gets injured ? Yes, decidedly. 
I will have something to Siiy later on perhaps as 
to my views as to that for the information 
of the Committee. 

1700. We do not want to go over exactly the 
same ground that has been gone over ; you 

. agree generally with that ? Yes, decidedly. 

1701. You have got probably some exceptions 
j[to make or something of the kind which we 

vould be glad to hear ? My experience with 
illasting snips is this I have experienced the 
ifficulty of deciding the first time I had to 
ike a ship in ballast I had neither displacement 
Ijacale or anything else, and it was a verv serious 
[matter for me to decide upon how mucli ballast 
[I should take. 

1702. As a master ? As a master I did not 
[wish to run the owner to any unnecessary ex- 

fense, and it was just a case of trial and error, 
made an experiment and foimd 1 had taken 
{too little ; of course, that was a guide for me 
Ion another voyage. The first time I found I 
[had taken too little, and as soon as I got out 
of Kurrachee and got a fresh sea breeze the 
I ship simply lay down and we had to let Hy 
levery thing. Of course, it was not altogether the 
luantity of ballast; I was in such a hurry to 
Jget away that the ballast was not properly 
ttrimmed. That was a help to it ; but it was 
guide to me for future use. Of course, one 
[inconvenience with regard to having too little 
iballast was that I mane the passage in about 
[double the time T should have done very likely 
fit I had been properly ballasted. Other ships 
[could carry their topsails. 

Chairman continued 

1703. Where were you going ? From Kur- 
rachee to Elephant Point, Rangoon a great 
rice port. 

1704. How long were you ? 57 days. 

1705. Instead of what if properly ballasted ? 
I think a ship that left a clay or two after me 
did it in about naif the time. 

1706. That would be a considerable loss to 
the owner ? Of course it was. Other ships 
were going and carrying a whole topsail, and I 
could hardly carry a close-reefed one. The 
inference is obvious. 

1707. You were acting as mastery I was 
acting as master. 

1708. Wlien you were master did you regu- 
late the ballasting of your ships ? Yes, I had 
no information from my employer as to how 
much ballast I should take. 

1709. You had a free hand with regard to it ? 

1710. Did you very nearly always have 
sufficient ballast for safety ? After that I 
invariably had sufficient ballast. 1 did seven 
or eight pa.ssages in ballast and generally carried 
50 or 60 tons more than I took on that first 
occasion, and found it sufficient for the ship with 
ordinary vigilance ; she was stable enough and 
reasonably handy at sea. 

1711. In vour experience do your consider that 
a good manv ships in ballast go to sea in an 
unsafe condition owiui.' to nothavmgsuffieientbal- 
last ? 1 flo. I have a very strong opinion about it. 

1712. You have a very .strong opinion about 
it ? Yes, both sailing ships and steamers ; but 
my experience, as I have said before, is more 
with sadiug ships. 

1713. Then you have no figures to give us as 
to the ships lost or lives lost ? No. Of course 
there are figures available from Lloyds' and the 
Board of Trade. The Board of Trade appointed 
me two years ago to hold inq^uiries uito the 
circumstances attending the disappea,rance of 
four large ships, and 1 got some mformation 
then; and in the course of my duties as a 
nautical assessor I occasionally came across 
other cases where ships were obviously under- 

1714. Those four cases for. the inquiry into 
which the Board of Trade employed you, was 
that owing to under-ballasting ? That was my 
opinion. Of course the ship had disappeared; 
in such cases you can have no positive evidence 
as to the actual cause of her disappearing, but it 
was my opinion from my experience of the 
behaviour of ray own ship and consideration of 
the question generally. 

Lord ahund. 

1715. They were all lost ships ? All lost ships- 
The first one was the " Dominion, " of the Port of 


1716. What date was that ? The inquiry was 
held on the 17th of August 1899 ; that was the 




12 March 1903.] 

Captain A. Cunninohame. 


Clia irman continued, 
date of the inquiry. She was sailing fi'om 
Honoluhi to Oregon, I think. On the lUth 
January 1899 she sjviled from Honolulu for 
Royal Roads, Vancouver, British Columbia, and 
she was never heard of since. The tug left her 
outside the harbour. In that case I came to the 
Gonclusion, applying the criterion that I had 
found satisfiictory in my own experience that she 
had too little ballast on board. Then again there 
was a ship called the " Celtic Bard." 

Lord Shand. 

1717. We want to know what was said in the 
Judgment ? I can read it It sums it up though 
this was the first Inquirv I held (the first of the 
four) my Judgment m it was delivered after all 
the others were held because at the opening of 
the Inquiry the owners thought they might get 
some information that might be useful for my 
guidance from Vancouver, and the Inquiry was 
adjourned sine die, so that the Judgment in that 
case was delivered after I had had the ex- 
perience of all the others ; and it sums up very 
well my views upon the question. Of course, as 
a previous mtness said, the crucial point is the 
quantity of ballast that the ship is to take 
whether sailing or steam and that is a matter 
that has to be decided. The Board of Trade al- 
ways asks in these cases whether a vessel was sufla- 
ciently ballasted. The Board of Trade has never 
given us any criterion or'test to tell us whether a 
vessel is sufficiently ballasted or not, so we have 
" many men many minds ; " but in answer to the 
question, I say : " It is impossible to say what 
is the cause of the vessel not having been heard 
of since she left Honolulu, but it is my opinion 
that ballasted and trimmed as I infer her to 
have been, she was not well fitted to encounter 
bad weather. No doubt she was, as described 
by her designer and by her former com- 
mander, a very stiff ship, but there is 
reason to fear that it is too often for- 
gotten that stiffness is a guarantee of safety in 
one set of circumstances only, namely, in still 
water, and subject to an inclining force applied 
to the upper arm of the lever of'whicn the 
centre of gravity of the ship and lading may be 
said to be the fulcrum. Needless to say still 
water cannot be depended upon throughout a 
passage of any duration. When a ship gets 
among waves a new set of circumstances 
obviously comes into play, and a force is applied 
to the lower arm of the lever which at once 
interferes Avith the action of the other set 
of circumstances, and a phase may be established 
when the combined action will culminate in a 
Ice lurch from .which stifthess alone will not 
recover the ship. At such a juncture the ship's 
salvation depends on her ' righting moment, a 
product of which ' displacement ' is the predo- 
minant factor (and the only factor over which 
the master of the ship has any control), hence 
the importance of not unduly curtailing its 
magnitude as, under a mistaken reliance on the 
initial stiffness of a ship the tendency appears 
to be. Scarcely less important to the safety of 
the ship than the quantity of ballast is the 
trim of the ship. There appears to be a very 

Erevalent notion that by bringing a light ship 
y the stern more rudder power is obtained." 


1718. Are you reading the whole Judgment 
out ? No, it is just the answer to this question : 
" The very reverse is the case in a ship of the 
modern type like the ' Dominion.' A ship in 

E roper trim .should be capable of being steered 
y the sails with little assistance from the 
rudder, and it is always possible to shake such 
a ship through a squall to which it would be 
imprudent to carry a full sail. When the ship 
is by the stern the centre of effort of the sails i& 
before the centre of lateral resistance in the ship, 
and the consequence is she carries lee helm, it is 
impossible to keep her to the wind she is con- 
stantly falling off and exposing the full surface 
of her sails ; hence she is in greater danger of 
succumbing to a pressure of wind which -with a 
more judicious distribution of the weights on 
board she might have been able to manoeuvre 

Lord Inverclyde.. 

1719. Were you sitting alone in this case ? 
Yes, sitting alone. 


1720. Oh, you were sitting alone ? Yes, I was 
appointed Inspector bv the Board of Trade. 
Another one was the " Celtic Bard." Of course 
I could give you the figures with regard to the 
quantity of ballast they had on board. 

1721. I do not think that is necessary. In 
vour opinion she was lost from insufficient 
ballast ? Insufficient ballast. 

1722. And she was lost ? Well, she has never 
been heard of. 

1723. But you came to the conclusion that 
she had insufficient ballast from the figures that 
were given you when she left her last port ? 
Yes, and being out of trim. That is a point that 
I would bring strongly before the Committee. 

Lord Shand. 

1724. But it runs into the ballasting question, 
does it not ; the two things run together ? They 
run together. A ship may have sufficient ballast 
but if she is trimmed as most of these ships aro 
she is unsafe; you cannot manoeuvre ner in 
a squall or a heavy breeze of wind ; you cannot 
keep her to the wind ; she is always lying with. 
her full sail to the wind, whereas, if she was in 
better trim you could shake her through very 
often. There is evidence which came before me 
to that effect in the course of these inquiries. 
In the case of one of the ships that disappeared 
there was another ship in company with her ; 
she was thrown on her beam ends in a typhoon 
in the China Sea, or the Japan Sea, and this 
ship, thrown on her beam ends ultimately, 
recovered and got safe to port ; the other was 
never heard of 


1725. Without going into all these cases in 
detail, what is your remedy for this state of 
things ? My remedy is that this Committee as 
the result of its enquiries should be able to 
recommend what is a reasonable and safe cri- 
terion for the ballasting of ships. The criterion 
that I applied in this case is a third of the dead 
weight capacity. It requires no calculation 
beyond the simple aritnmetical one. That 
applies to the old-fashioned iron ship which of 




12 March 1903.] 

Captain A. Cunninghame. 


Chairman continued. 

course was a much heavier ship than the modern 
steel ship ; and with that tnird dead weight 
capacity her draught of water was two-thirds of 
her loaded draught, which is quite a safe and 
sufficient draught. 

1726. Then how would you apply this remedy ; 
would you apply it by regulations of the Board 
of Trade or by other means ? Well, I do not 
know that the Board of Trade could do it with- 
out legislation ; they might recommend it, but 
I have no doubt it would be just something 
like the load line; it would require statutory 

1727. You would like statutory regulation 
which would carry this out ? Yes ; decidedly. 

1728. You would like that ? Yes. 

1729. You prefer that to the light load line ? 
The light load line would come. You cannot 
fix a light load line without settling this ques- 
tion first. 

1730. That is what I wanted to come to. Can 
you do it without the light load Une or not ? 
You could do it ; you could say that the ship 
shall carry one-third of the dead weight capa- 
city, but it is desirable in the interest of all 
parties that there should be an outward and 
visible sign of that. 

1731. It is your opinion that the outward and 
visible sign of a light load line should be enacted 
in order to make it clear to everybody concerned 
whether the ship is properly ballasted or not is 
that it ? Yes. 

Lord Shand. 

1732. I understand you also to mean that if 
these proportions you have spoken of were 
adopted you could then lay down the light load 
line down on the ship ? You could lay the light 
load line down on the ship. The draught would 
be known. Suppose it is carried out that a hght 
load line is to oe marked, I would recommend 
instead of having the somewhat colourable imi- 
tation of the Morse alphabet that they had for 
the deep load line, that there should be a broad 
white line right round the ship three or four 
inches wde, like what used to be round men of 
war above the copper. Then it is clear to every- 
body what is the trim of the ship. At present, 
if it is going to be a circle and a short line here 
and there and different marks, it may be no 
indication as to the actual trim of the smp. 


1733. Would you apply this remedy to all 
ships or divide them into classes ? It would not 
apply to steamers ; that two-third draught to a 
tnird dead weight would apply only to .sailing 

1734. Your remedy is only f(jr .sailing ships ? 
Sailing .ships in the meantime. 

1735. Do you think steamers should also have 
it ' Steamers should also have it. 

1736. On a difffrent scale ? On a different 
: scale probably. The question is how much im- 
mersion is the steamer to have. It must be 
governed by the immersion of the propeller. 
These accidents that happen to steamers I think 
are clearly due to the outrageous trim in which 
most of them go to sea in ballast. I only heard 

of one this morning eight feet by the stern ; it 

Cha irman continued 
is the outrageous trim. Some of them go draw- 
ing four, five, or anything. You might just as 
well try to steer a " pizzie " (a peg top spiin with 
a string) as steer these things. 

1737. Have you anything else to tell us ? 
I think the Committee ought to take that matter 
into consideration. 

1738. Oh yes ? My contention and feeling is 
that it is not so much the want of ballast in these 
steamers as the bad trim. 

1739. Bad trim? Improper trim. You have 
had witnesses here who told you they could do 
nothing with I think one witness said that a 
ship he commanded would turn eight points to 
the right and eight to the left. They go dancing 
down the Channel a danger to everybody there 
within five miles of them as well as a purgatory 
to the persons in the ship. It is well known ; it 
is a matter of common observation and experi- 
ence that you can simply do nothing with tnem 
when by tne stern so much. I got a report of a 
case last night of a case during the late gales 
a ship called the " Buckingham." She was 
coming round from Bo'ness in the Firth of 
Forth to Glasgow, round through the Pentland 
Firth " in order to keep the vessel in trim 2 feet 
by the stern " (as they call it) " the foremost tank 
which was capable of containing 78 tons of water, 
was kept empty ; 390 tons of bunker coal werp 
on board, 270 tons of which had been placed i; 
the bunkers, and the remainder 120 tons in -tb 
'tween decks of No. 2 hold." The effect was that 
she got roimd Cape Wrath " when a moderate 
gale was encountered from the westward and the 
vessel was hove to for some hours on the 24th 
December. At 11.30 p.m. of the 24th, the vessel 
being within three or four miles of Tuimpan 
Head, near Stornoway," and so on " at 7.30 a.m. 
the gale shifted to W.S.W. and blew with hurri- 
cane force. From this time till the vessel 
s'randed she was unmanageable and lay with her 
head about S.S.W." If you have a vessel like a 
bladder, her bow out of the water and no force 
to counteract, no power that any engines will 
develop will make her steer. These sailing ships 
and steamers that go to sea trimmed so much 
by the stern are sailed in defiance of the elemen- 
tary principles of dynamics and it is no wonder 
accidents happen. This vessel was unmanage- 
able, and the consequence was she drifted into 
Loch Broom or somewhere and took the ground ; 
and in the operations trying to get her off 
a boat capsized and a man was drowned. 
That was an indirect consequence of her being 
out of trim. 

1740. Was the finding that she was under 
ballasted ? I will see what they say here ; it is 
not one I was on. You have had one of the 
men that were on the inquiry : " The stranding 
of the vessel was due to her drifting ashore 
while unmanageable owing to her light condition 
in a very strong gale which prevented the vessel 
from being kept on a safe course." 

1741. Then that puts it on the wind too. It 
does not put *he cause of the accident solely on 
the under ballasting does it ? Yes, because she 
was so light. It is said she was so light," owing 
to her light condition in a very strong gale." 

1742. Now, I do not think we need have any 
N more 



12 March 1903.] 

Captain A. Cunninohahe. 


Cltaii'man continued. 

more cases. I have I think touched upon all 
the points you have given in your notes ; I do 
not tliink there is anything more as far as I can 
sec. 1 dare say one or two of the members of 
the Committee might ask you some questions ? 
Of course, the strong point with mo is, that these 
vessels should be on an even keel. As I have 
said before, it is in defiance of all principles of 
dynamics that ships should be navigated as they 
are, but that, of course, does penalize the ship to 
a certiiiu extent ; you cannot do that without 
taking some ballast on board. 

1743. How would you regulate that, and see 
that that is done by regulation of the Board of 
Trade ? A light load line would not deal with 
that ? As a previous witness said, the Board of 
Trade is not in very good odour with the ship- 
owniing community generally at least used not 
to be; but provided there were recommenda- 

Cliairman continued. 

tions from ihis Committee, based on reasonable 
grounds, I have no doubt it would receive the 
greatest consideration ; but there can be no 
amendment without expense. It does entail 
additional ballast; there is no question about 

1744. Expense to the owners ? Expense to the 
owners yes. It is a question though whether 
the owner is not reimoursed in the increased 
safety of his vessel, and also the smaller premiums 
he would probably have to pay for his in- 
surances, and so on, and the greater certainty 
with which the ship would make her passages. 
These are things to be taken into consideration. 

1745. And do you represent a large amount of 
opinion among masters and so on ? As far as I 
have talked with my nautical friends we have 
pretty well agreed on this point. 

The Witness is directed to withdraw. 

Captain WILLIAM G. B. MELVILLE is called in ; and Examined, as follows : 


1746. Will you give your experience. You 
have been at sea, have not you, as a shipmaster ? 
I have been 35 years at sea; 29 years as a 
shipmaster in both sailing vessels and steamers. 

1747. And steel ships also? Iron and steel 
both ; and wood and iron sailing vessels. 

1748. You have retired now from the sea since 
1895, have not you ? Yes, since 1895. 

1749. You were a shareholder in a sailing 
vessel ? Yes, I commanded her for nine years, 
and I did all the management myself, all the 
chartering and everything ; no one to interfere 
with me. 

1750. You were also a shareholder in a steam 
vessel ? I was a shareholder in a steam vessel 
trading between London and Port Natal for 17 

1751. And a navigation teacher at Aberdeen ; 
is that so ? Yes. 

1752. What is it you wish particularly to say 
to us ? I say it is the case that British ships are 
sent to sea in an unseaAvorthy condition by 
reason of their being insufficiently or im- 
properly ballasted. In my experience as 
a nautical assessor I have had two cases that 
another witness has referred to, that is the 
" Heraclides " of Liverpool, and the " Bucking- 
ham " of Gla.sgow. I was an assessor on both 
those cases. The " Heraclides " we found to be 
improperly ballasted ; we could not decide that 
the vessel was insufficiently ballasted ; had she 
been in proper trim I have no doubt that vessel 
could have proceeded to Glasgow without 
eHCOuntering any serious damage. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1753. Even in the weather that she put to 
sea in ? Even in that weather had she got to 
sea, but the ves.sel never got' to sea; she never 
got down the Crosby Channel. She was down 8 feet 
2 inches by the stern, and the pilot was con- 
travening the rule of the road by trying to pass 
down on the weather side of the Channel to 

Lord Muskerry continued. 

prevent the vessel from being blown on to the lee 
side, and when he found he could not clear the 
Crosby light ship, which was lying right across 
the tide was about three quarters of an hour ebb 
and he had either to collide with the light vessel 
or pass under her stern, which he did, and by 
doing so he brought the tide imder the heel, or 
heavj' end of the ship, and the wind was on the 
other; the two forces acting together but in 
difterent directions, they could not bring the 
vessel to the wind again. 

1754. Then she was unmanageable ? Then 
she was unmanageable and drifted on to Taylor 


1755. Was it the same, or what ; we do not 
want to go into much detail about it ? She was 

1756. On account of want of ballast ? On 
account of being improperly ballasted in that 

1757. You have had a good deal of experi- 
ence ? Yes. 

1758. I do not quite understand this "and 
opinions of pupils " ? I have had a great many 
opinions, both from pupils who have passed 
through my Navigation School, and from ship- 
masters whom I have met in the American 
cotton ports, some of them having vessels 
specially built for that trade, having clear holds 
from bulk head to bulk head, with all crew 
accommodation, and fresh water tanks on deck. 
Wlien these vessels got into a gale of wind they 
lay in the trough of the sea : they would neither 
come to nor go oft'. It made it dangerous not 
only to themselves, but others navigating in 
the vicinity. 

1759. Those were ships going across the 
Atlantic, were they? The Atlantic to cotton 
ports. In those cases the vessels take all their 
water ballast, and so many tons of bunker coals 
as to take them from Newport News or Norfolk, 
Virginia, where they could coal for the pas.sage 




12 March 1903.] 

Captain W. G. B. Melville. 


Cliairman continued. 

home. The ow-ners, to make them payable, charter 
the vessels, giving up every possible space in the 
vessels for cargo ; even the side bunkers and fore 
peaks they give up for cargo; and that is the 
reason that they have only a few tons of coals left 
when they are loading their cotton cargoes ; in 
fact some"^ of the vessels have to take coals at the 
loading port to take them to Newport News or 
to Norfolk. 

1760. Then what do you consider is required 
in order to meet this danger to shipping ? My 
experience in sailing vessels, and in tramp 
steamers, and from my own ideas, I have always 
found that one-third of the dead weight capacity 
of a sailing vessel was quite sutiicient for 
ballasting her properly, and in a tramp steamer 
one-third of the gross registered tonnage not 
the dead weight capacity in this case, but the 
gross registered tonnage. 

1761. You applied those rules in order to 
find the light load line, is that what you mean ? 
That is what I would commend as a safe 
light load line I .should think. That is my idea 
of it from my experience. 

1762. Then why do shipmasters take their 
ships to sea sometimes with insufficient ballast ? 
AVell, they have no option. The vessel is there, 
they know the quantity of ballast provided by 
the managers and superintendents, and if they 
refuse to go the managers will very soon put 
another master on board who will take the 
vessel to sea. The masters know that their 
vessels are insufficiently ballasted, still they 
think : Oh, we may have fine weather and 
get across to our port in safety, no bad weather 
setting in, and one day they come to grief : the 
bucket goes to the well one day and it comes 
home broken. 

1763. You agree with the evidence that I 
dare sav you have heard and we have heard 
that there are a great many masters I 
will not exactly define the number who 
do not feel that they have power to deal with this 
matter ? They have no power whatever at the 
present time. In former years they had before 
the owners got so much experience as they have 

1764. Do you agree also that it is in the 
modem type of ships much more difficult, or 
that they reqviire more ballast than the old 
type of ship ? Well they are more difficult ; 
they float lighter on the water ; they are more 
of a box shape, but I think that would be a 
fair margin one-third of t e gross registered 

Lord Shand. 

1765. You said the one class of ship, but you 
-aid some other? That is for tramp steamers, 
<ven the ones they are building at the present 

1766. I think vou gave us two classes of 
-teamers, and a clifferent proportion for each? 
No, it was the sailing vessel one-third. 

1767. I think I saw it taken down a third 
for sailing vessels? A third for sailing ves- 
sels of the dead weight, and for the tramp 
steamers nne-third of the gross registered ton- 



1768. With regard to the Board of Trade Sur- 
^eyor, do you think the Board of Trade Sur- 
veyor ought to interfere any more than he doee 
now? I do not think he would have any power 
whatever to interfere, and unless Lloyds and 
ihe Board of Trade foreign undei-writers and 
English underwriters all combined I do not 
TJiink they will be able to make anything of a 
light load line. 

1769. You are in favour also of extending any 
regulation which is imposed to foreign vessels? 
To foreign vessels as well. 

1770. Do you think that is practicable? I 
think it should be. Of course, foreign vessels 
might take the advantage away from England, 
but when they are coming out and into Eng- 
land they must abide by the light load line. 

Lord Musherry. 

1771. It is a very usual practice, is it not, 
to send ships to sea under-ballasted ? It is com- 
mon practice? Well, in the majority of cases 
most of the vessels are sent to sea in an unsea- 
worthy condition. 

Lord Shand. 

1772. I want to know as regards the different 
classes of vessels why do you say one measure for 
one cla^s, and another for another. You said 
something about the dead weight in one case? 
That is the sailing vessels. 

1773. You have told us about that, but why do 
you make a different scale for the other one ? 
Because there is so little difference between their 
gross tonnage (only a few tons), and the registered 
tonnage ; but in steamers there is a veiy large 
difference between the gross tonnage and the net 
registered tonnage. 

Lord Wolrerton. 

1774. You specially dealt with sailing ships? 
I dealt with both. 

1775. But you are more particularly concerned 
with sailing ships ? Yes. 

1776. There have been very few acciden in, have 
not there, as to fotmdering or stranding, which 
are the two great dangers? There have been a 
great many vessels disappeared in ballast. 

1777. Disappeared? Yes. 

1778. Either foundered or stranded, I 
suppose? ^Most likely foundered in cycloneB 
coming down from Calcutta to Port Natal. 

1779. Here I find in 1900 and 1901 only two 
vessels foundered in ballast? I am speaking of 
further back. 

1780. What year? I can give you any year. 
1888 seems to have been the biggest. Then there 
were six, but they have continually decreased 
since : 12 in 1884^ 1896-7, one ; 1897-8, two ; 
1893-9, four : 1899-1900, none ; and in 1900-01 
Ihere wore two. I should have thought you 
wmijd have been rather conversant with those 
fiffiires? I only made up this statement last 
night on my journey from Aberdeen in the train. 

1781. I thought you were conversant with the 
figures? And I beg to state that I would re- 
f onimend that, all .^ailing vessels, even when 
being towed from one port to another, sh-uld 
have a liirht load line and the full roniolement 

N 2 ot 


12 March 1903.] Captain W. G. B. Mhlville. [Continued. 

Lord Wolverton continued. Chairman. 

of ballast, because there is no telling the moment 1782. You agree with the witness who to-day 

they may part from their tow rope and have to gave some evidence about ships being towed? 
put their vessel under sail. Yes, my Lord. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 
Ordered, That this Committee be adjourned to Monday next, Twelve o'clock. 



Die Lunce, 16^ Martii 1903. 


Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ripley. 
Lord MusKESRY. 


Lord Brassey. 
Lord Shand. 
Lord Inverclyde. 

The Earl SPENCER in the Chair 

Mr. WALTER J. HOWELL, c.b., is called in ; and Examined, as follows : 


1783. I think you are one of the Assistant 
Secretaries of the Board of Trade and chief of 
the Marine Department, are you not ? Yes. 

1783*. Will you state how the Board of Trade 
is concerned in this question of the ballasting of 
ships? Under Section 713 of the Merchant 
Shipping Act. 1894, the Board of Trade is the 
department authorised to undertake the general 
superintendence of all matters relating to mer- 
chant shipping and seamen. 

1784. \\ e have heard of the subject, but you 
propose to refer to it also ; the powers which the 
Board of Trade have for dealing with this ques- 
tion ? I think the Board of Trade have verj' 
ample powers. Section 459 of the Act provides 
that, " The Board of Trade, if they have reason 
to believe, on complaint or otherwise, that a 
British ship is unsafe, may order the ship to be 
provisionally detained as an unsafe ship for the 
purpose of oeing surveyed." Then on receiving 
the report of the survey, the Board " may either 
order the ship to be released or, if in their 
opinion the ship is unsafe, may order her to be 
finally detained, either absolutely or until the 
necessary alterations are effected. In addition 
to this there is under Section 457 a heavy 
penalty attached to sending a British ship to sea 
in such an unseaworthy state that the life of 
any person is likely to be thereby endangered, 
and the criminal prosecution for this offence can 
only be instituted, in this country, with the 
consent of the Board of Trade. 

1785. Then has any action been taken by the 
Board of Trade under either of these sections 
witli regard to insufficiently ballasted ships ? 
In the way of cautions to owners and care- 
ful instructions to the staff much has been 
done, but there has been no case of actual 
detention or prosecution for improper or insuffi- 
cient ballasting. No case has come under the 
notice of our officers which was such as to justify 
them in detaining a vessel, though there may 
have been cases in which warnings have been 
given. I ought to tell the Committee that it is 
the wish of the Board of Trade that its staff 
should carry out its duties in a reasonable way, 
and when a vessel appears likely to be sent to 
sea in an unsafe state from whatever cause, those 

Chairman continued. 

concerned are warned and detention is only im- 
posed if that warning is disregarded. It may 
interest the Committee to hear that the recent 
Act passed to prevent under-manning is a case 
in point. Not one single detention has had to 
be ordered under that Act, but we have had 
many cases before us in which warnings have 
been issued to owners and masters and have 
been at once attended to. I do not 
know whether your Lordship would care 
to have instances of that. One was the 
ship ' Northemhay " ; the crew consisted of 
20 hands, no carpenter or sailmaker. I am only 
giving an instance of an undermanned ship just 
as a specimen of the sort of action we take. We 
were advised that that vessel if not actually 
under-manned was very nearly approaching that 
point, and the principal officer of the district 
was instructed to advise the master that a 
carpenter should be carried in addition to the 
crew previously arranged' The owner at once 
instructed the master of the ship to ship an 
additional A.B. as a carpenter, as an ordinary 
carpenter could not be obtained. That at once 
was done, and I may say we have several in- 
stances of the same kind with regard to all sorts 
of unseaworthy ships. Our experience, in fact, of 
this sort of warning is that it is generally 
attended to, and as regards prosecution for im- 
proper ballasting, there has been no instance in 
which the legal adviser of the Board of Trade 
was able to advise that there was sufficient 
evidence to justify them in instituting legal 

178G. We have had nautical men Iicre who 
have spoken of a good many eases where in- 
quiries have been neld and where the Court 
of Inquiry (if that is the proper expres- 
sion) declared that the loss or the ship, or 
whatever had happened, was caused by insuffi- 
cient ballasting. Now in of that sort you 
have never had a prosecution ? No. What we 
do in cases of that kind is to at once refer the 
matter to our legal adviser to advise whether 
there is a case for instituting nroceedings under 
the Act, and in each case tna has been so 
referred to him he has advised that there has 
been no case. 

1787. Then 



16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Howell, c.r 


Chairman continued. 

1787. Then there never has been a case of 
prosecution or detention in this matter ? 
There has never been a case, either of detention 
or prosecution. 

1788. What attitude then have the Board of 
Trade taken up with regard to the question ? 
They have been watcliing this matter very care- 
fully for a long time since, I think, about the 
year 1886, when they first issued a public warning 
on the matter. The officers at the different 
ports have, for many years, had instructions 
to watch the loading of vessels, and not to allo>v 
any ship to proceed to sea which, on account 
of improper loading, or other cause, was unfit to 
proceed without serious danger to human life. 
The matter has also been kept before us, from 
time to time, by the Reports of Courts of Inquiry 
with regard to wrecks m which the question of 
under ballasting or improper ballasting was raised 
Since this question was first brought forward in 
the House of Lords, five years ago, the Board of 
Trade have obtained, at mtervals, three special 
reports from their officers on this question, and 
have given special instructions for them to be on 
the alert to detect, and, if necessary, to detain 
any improperly ballasted ships. The wreck re- 
turns have been analysed to see how far losses 
of life and property could be attributed to under 
or improper ballasting; and communications 
have been addressed to representative associa- 
tions of shipowners and underwriters, drawing 
their special attention to this question. I should 
like to say here, to the Committee, that when it 
was decided that this Committee should be ap- 
pointed, I thought it my duty to go carefully 
into the whole question from the beginning 
again, in order that I might be able to place the 
whole case before your Lordships. 

1789. Then when you speak of your officers 
there who have had these instructions to be on 
the alert " to detect and if necessary detain," 
those are the detaining officers at the different 
ports is that so ? The detaining officers at the 
different ports. 

1790. Then the Board of Trade have not been 
in favour of a compulsory load line ? No. On 
the three occasions on which the question has 
been brought before your Lordships' House, in 
1898, 1901 and 1902, the Board of Trade re- 
presentative has argued that no case had been 
made out for such a measure. The Board of 
Trade still think that a measure of this kind is 
unnecessary, and I propose to lay before the Com- 
mittee the grounds on which this opinion is based. 

1791. Perhaps you will begin by explaining 
what special sources of information the Board of 
Trade nave to enable them to arrive at that con- 
clusion ? I think the Board of Tnide have very 
special sources of infonnation. They are (in ad- 
dition to communications received from ship 
masters, shipowners, underwriters and the 
general public) the wreck and casualty reports 
and reports from our surveyors. Under Section 
425 of the Merchant Shipping Act every accident 
happening to a steamer must be reported to the 
Uoard of jTrade within 24 hours, and we also get 
reports with regard to all accidents to sailing 
ships as well. Consuls abroad, shipping officers 
in the Colonies, and customs and coastguard 
officers in the United Kingdom are charged with 

Chairman continued. 

the duty of sending in reports ; 
are checked by the reports sent 

the returns 
to Lloyds by 
their officers; and we Relieve that there is no 
accident of any moment happening to any 
British ship w'hich does not come under our 
notice. The surveyors' reports I will with per- 
mission refer to later. 

1792. Then let us take the casualty reports 
first. I understand you have examined them to 
see what bearing they hate upon the question of 
ballasting. How far back have you gone ? I 
have taken 17 3'ears and I have separated 
casualties to vessels in ballast from casualties 
happening to other vessels. Vessels in ballast 
are of course subject to much the same perils of 
the sea, as loaded vessels, and so it cannot be 
assumed for one moment that all casualties to 
vessels in ballast are due to the fact that they are 
in ballast. It is impossible to say in each case 
whether the casualty was due to the vessel being 
in ballast or not, so what I have done has been 
to ascertain first what proportion of A'oyages are 
made in ballast and then to see what proportion 
of the casualties have happened to ballasted 
ships. We get the figures as to the vessels 
which go to sea in ballast from the Customs' 
returns. I will first put in a table shewing the 
entrances and clearances at ports in the United 
Kingdom of vessels \vith cargoes and in ballast 
respectively in 1885 and 1902, and in two inter- 
vening years 1893 and 1901. (The document 
is handed in). These figures I submit shew that 
so far as entries and clearances in the United 
Kingdom are concerned, voyages in ballast have 
during the last 17 years increased much more 
rapidly than voyages with cargoes, though the 
voyages with cargoes are still twice as numerous 
as the ballast voyages. 

1793. How do you account for that ( 
Movements of trade ? 

1794. Then what is the proportion now of 
voyages in ballast to voj^ages with cargoes ? Of 
the total tonnage which entered and cleared at 
ports in the United Kingdom in 1902 32| per 
cent, was in ballast ana 67i per cent, with 
cargoes, that is, practically, out of every three 
vessels one was in ballast. These figures relate 
only to the United Kingdom and therefore may 
not represent exactly the proportion of British 
vessels in cargo and in ballast respectively 
throughout the world, but they probably indicate 
with sufficient accuracy for the present purpose 
the kind of proportion which obtains between 
loaded vessels and vessels in ballast. 

1795. Then the next point is to compare the 
accidents to vessels in ballast with those happen- 
ing to vessels with cargoes ? Yes. I will put in 
tables showing the number of wrecks, of casual- 
ties to.and lives lost from, vessels in ballast during 
each of the 17 years ended June 30th. 1901, 
together with the whole number of wrecks, 
casualties, and lives lost during that period, also 
in separate lines the wrecks, casualties, and loss 
of life amongst vessels in ballast during the year 
ended June, 1902, and during the eight months 
ended on the 28th February this year, but in the 
latter cases I regret that I cannot at present give 
the details of all casualties. The figures are not 
made up (the <lorit,ment is handed in). 

l796 Can you tell us what are the results you 




16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Howell, c.b. 

\ Continued 

Chairman continued. . 

draw Irom these total losses ? These tables 
(which deal separately with steamers and sailing 
ships), show that of the vessels totally lost in 17 
years 17 per cent, were in ballast, of the tonnage 
totally lost 13 per cent, was in ballast, and of the 
seamen lost 10 per cent. Avere lost from ships in 
ballast. It has already been shown that 32i per 
cent, of the tonnage entered and cleared is in 

1797. Then we come to missing vessels ? The 
figures I have given include all kinds of casual- 
ties, but if we take missing vessels wo find that 
the vessels in ballast were 7 1 per cent, and the 
lives lost 9i per cent, of the whole number. In 
the case of missing steamers 3| per cent, of the 
vessels were in ballast, and 31- per cent, of the 
lives lost were in vessels in ballast. 

1798. Then as to the loss of life ? Yes, that is 
a matter with which the Board of Trade is, of 
course, more particularly concerned. The annual 
average number of seamen lost from all kinds of 
merchant vessels belonging to the United King- 
dom was 988 and the average number lost from 
vessels in ballast was only 99. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1799. Within what period, the 99 ? In the 
17 years. In the 17 years the annual average 
number of seamen lost from all kinds of merchant 
vessels belonging to the United Kingdom was 
988, and the average number lost from vessels 
in ballast was only 99. 


1800. Is that taken for the 17 years or a 
longer period ? Both figures are for the 17 
years, the average munber. In the case of 
steamers the annual average loss was 441 in all 
vessels, and 31 in vessels in ballast, still for the 
1 7 years. 

1801. That is on those last figures with regard 
to loss of life too ? Yes, I can give you further 
figures. Those figures I have given, it will be 
noticed, only come down to June, 1901. Tlie 
later information I have is this: As already 
-rated, we have not at present the details of all 
wrecks casualties, and loss of life during the last 
20 months, but I have had the figures taken out 
for vessels in ballast. I thought they would be 
interesting to the Committee. The number of 
lives lost n-om ves-sels in ballast since June, 1901, 
is at the rate of less than half the annual average 
for the 17 years, and both as regards numbers 
and tonnage of vessels lost, the figures show a 
most sati.sfactor}- diminution. Only three vessels 
in ballast have been mi.ssing during the last two 
winters, and the tonnage of the three amounted 
to only 244 tons. 

1802. As to the diminution, did the diminution 
show itself before last winter, in any years before. 
When did the diminution begin ? I think there 
has been a fairly steady diminution recently. 

1803. Can you name how long? 1901 was a 
bad year, but I think before that the figures 
were getting fairly satisfactory, and since then 
they have certainly diminished rapidly. 

1804. ITien the tendency of these figures is to 
sliow that the proportion of loss amongst vessels 
in is less than amongst vessels with 
cargoes ? Yes, and I should like to emphasise 
that fact very much to the Committee, because 
so far as the figures I have submitted to the Com- 
mittee go, they show most distinctly that life is 

Cfi TAr in a voccol in nnlltiQf fnan m a irocuol Ti/if H 

Chairman continued. 

cargo. To my mind that is a fact of extreme 

1805. Caii you give any details of the later 
figures ? Yes. I put in two statements giving 
particulars of every vessel which was totally 
lost or met with a casualty involving loss of 
life whilst in ballast (a) in the year ended 
30th June 1902, and (b) in the eight months 
from June, 1902 to February this year. These 
statements: practically embrace two winters, and 
will, I think, show the Committee the extent 
to which under-ballasting or improper ballasting 
has been responsible for loss of life. (Tlte docu- 
ments are handed in). In the year ended 30th 
June last there were 15 wrecks of, or casualties 
to, British vessels in ballast which involved loss 
of life the number of lives lost being 41. In 
the eight months which have elapsed since June 
1902, there have been nine fiital casualties to 
vessels in ballast involving the loss of 33 lives 
(including one passenger) making for the last 
year and eight months 24 fatal casualties and 74 
lives lost. 

1806. These are the 24 fatal casualties which 
have occuiTcd during the last 20 months. Can 
you give us some further details with regard to 
these cases ? Yes. I have looked into each 
case of that kind separately and I find that four 
of the cases, involving the loss of eight lives,, 
were caused by collision. I am quite prepared 
to give the names of those cases if desired by the 

1807. You may as well state them, I think? 
Those cases were the ' Cruizer," the " Greenock," 
the " Consul Kaestner " and the ' Robert Ing- 
ham." Five were cases of men being washed 
overboard from small vessels, only two of which 
exceeded 100 tons and in none of which the 
question of ballast arose. They were the 
"Valorous," "Clonallon," "Burman," "Jasper," 
and " The Viscount." One was the breaking of a 
foot rope and another a boiler accident ; the two 
cases are the " Lilian Morris " and the " Tyne- 
dale." The last seven cases, I may say, caused, 
the death of one man each. 

Lord Muskeii'y. 

1808. Is the "Tynedale" the boiler case? 
The " Tynedale " is the boiler case. 


1809. We have heard in evidence that some 
of these accidents to machinery are caused some- 
times by insufficient ballasting ; in those two 
cases is that so ? The " Tynedale " was a tug^ 
and the question of ballast did not arise. That 
is the only case in the return of death from a 
boiler explosion. 

1810. Very well?- Then there were three 
strandings, causing the loss of 14 lives, which 
were ap])arently (apparently I say) owing to 
careless navigation. Their names were " Lizzie 
Bell," " Titania," and " Rothe-say." One vessel 
stranded through the parting of a tow rope, 
causing the loss of four lives. That was the 
" Cambois." Three vessels were missing with 25 
hands, of which one, the " Perseverance " (with 
14 hands) was an Arctic fishing vessel, declared 
by a Court of Inquiry to have been properly 
ballasted, one (with six hands) the " Lourenqo," 
was a tug on hire to Portuguese at Lorenzo Mar- 
ques, and the third, the " Challenge," (with five 
hands) was a schooner of 79 tons, carrying 100 



16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Howell, c.b. 


Chairman continued. 

tons of sand ballast, and bound from Oporto to 
St. John's, Newfoundland ; so the Committee 
will see there remain .six casualties and 15 lives 
to be accounted for. Of these six fatal caualties 
one. the " Arthur," involving the loss of one life, 
V as caused by a barge of 38 tons being blown 
over in the river Thames ; one, involving the loss 
of one life, was caused by the stranding of the 
smack " Nellie " of 16 tons on the Isle of Man ; 
one, also involving the loss of one life, which, I 
ought to say, occurred on the day after the 
stranding, was caused by a vessel stranding in 
Enard West Bay, owing, it is found by the Court 

of Inquiry 

Lord Wolvert<yn 

IMll. You have not mentioned the name of 
this vessel this is the " Buckingham " ? Yes. 


1812. I was going to say that is the only one 
of these vessels I think which is mentioned in 
our evidence ; you may have looked at the evi- 
dence ; I think the " Buckingham " is the only 
one mentioned ? Yes, and we have only just 
received the report of the Board of Trade Inquiry 
so we have not referred that to our legal adviser 
yet. It was caused by the vessel stranding in 
Enard West Bay, owing, it is found by the 
Court of Inquiry, to her being unmanageable 
while in her light condition in a very strong 
gale. One, also involving the loss of one life, 
was caused by the stranding of a steamer of 831 
tons, after parting from her anchors in Robin 
Hood's Bay m the great gale of the 13th Novem- 
ber 1901, and another, involving the loss of four 
lives was caused by the strandmg of a steamer 
of 105 tons, the " Truda " on Barlocco Island, 
Witgtown Bay, in the great gale of the 26th 
ultimo. The violence of that gale will be well 
in the recollection of your Lordships. 

1813. In those two last cases was there any 
evidence about their being under ballasted ? 
No, I think not. 

1814. You have not stated it in your evidence 
one way or the other ? No. In one case the 
vessel parted from her anchors, which, of course, 
would account for the stranding of the ship, 
whether she was in cargo or in ballast. 

Lord Mxiskerry. 

1815. That was the ' Zanetta " ? That was 
the " Zanetta." Then there remains one case 
(involving the loss of seven lives) m which a 
sailing vessel, the " Pinmore," was abandoned in 
the Pacific owing to the shifting of sand ballast. 
In that case a Naval Court found " that the 
casualty was caused by the shifting of the ballast 
during a heavy gale, and its becomuig a veritable 
quicksand from water entering through a leak 

. . . That so far as quantity is concerned 
the vessel appears to have been sufiicientlv 
ballasted, the evidence showing the vessels 
draught to be 12 feet 10 inches . . . ." 


1816. You are reading from the'finding of the 
Naval Court ? I am reading from the finding of 
the Naval Court : " the ballast was properly 
secured with good shifting boards, but the sand 
ballast used was of an extremely dangerous 
nature, and directly conduced to the casualty to 
the vessel." 

Chairman continued. 

1817. What do you think the analysis of those 
recent casualties to vessels shows ? I deduce 
from these returns (I lay them before the Com- 
mittee) that it appears doubtful whether a single 
life would have been saved during the last 20 
months by the operation of a light load line. 

1818. Then the figures you have given are the 
result of an analysis of the casualty reports re- 
ceived by the Board of Trade. Can you tell us 
how many of these casualty cases have been 
enquired into by the Court ? Yes. When the 
Board of Trade on receiving these casualty reports 
think that the case is one which should be pub- 
licly enquired into, they order what is called a 
" Formal Investigation " under Section 466 of the 
Act. That investigation is held by a Stipendi- 
ary Magistrate or two justices, or in Scotland by 
a sheriff, with the assistance of Nautical 
Assessors. I should like to point out to the 
Committee in reference to that that the Assessors 
for Courts of Formal Investigation are not ap- 
pointed by the Board of Trade but by the Home 
Secretary. I think it is necessary to state this 
because some of those who have appeared before 
you as witnesses have been described as Board of 
Trade Assessors, and so it has appeared as if 
officials of the Board of Trade had expressed a 
view differing from that held by the Depart- 

1819. I may say that we have had distinct 
evidence that those assessors were appointed by 
the Home Office, as you have said? Thank 
you. I am anxious to emphasise that to the 
Committee. It did occur to me to obtain 
opinions from some of those officers through the 
Home Office, but, rightly or wrongly, I thought 
that there was at least an appearance of im- 
propriety in asking officers, who occupy quasi 
judicial positions, to express opinions upon a 
matter that might come at any time before them 
in Court. I do not know therefore which of the 
assessors are and which are not in favour of a 
light load line, but I think it highly probable 
that differing views may be held. I may add 
that there are always two assessors appointed 
when the certificate of an officer is in question, 
and when there is loss of life in question three 
are usually appointed. 

Viscount Ridley. 

1820. Is it the case that the Home Office 
appoints out of the list of nautical assessors for 
any particular inquiry ? Yes, there are four 
separate lists at the Home Office; one of 
Mercantile Marine Masters, one of Mercantile 
Marine Engineers, one of Royal Navy Officers, 
and one of persons of nautical, engineering, or 
other special skill and knowledge. 


1821. On each inquiry the Home Office Z 
chooses the man who is to go down ? Yes, 
having received an intimation from the Board 

of Trade of the sort of inquiry it is going to be ; 
but I rather think the Home Office choose 
them by rotation ; I am not sure about that. 

1822. This is rather an interposition in your 
evidence. It is very important, but I think you 
were going on to say " these Courts have "full 
power to investigate ;' " 'ihete Courts have full 




16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Howell, c.b. 


Chairman continued. 

power to investigate ; they hold their inquiry in 
pubHc and they report to the Board of Trade. 
Sometimes when a formal investigation of this 
kind is not ordered, the cases are inquired into 
by officers sitting alone, called inspectors. They 
also sit in public and report to the Board of 
Trade. During the last eleven years that is 
from 1892 to 1902 inclusive over 2,200 of these 
formal inquiries have been held, and in 34 of 
these the question of improper or insufficient 
ballast has been raised. 

1823. Can you give us particulars of these 
cases ? I have here prints of the Reports of the 
Court, or inspector, in each case and I will hand 
them in if the Committee wish. Shall I hand 
them in ? I propose to analyse these cases. 

1824. In your evidence ? In my evidence. 
182.5. Then, perhaps, we had better have them 

put in ? There are 34 cases. {The documcTits 
are handed in.) 

Lord Sho.nd. 

1826. Are these 34 selected ? Oh no, these 
are the total number of cases in which the 
question of improper ballasting or insufficient 
ballasting has been raised. Of the 34 cases 20 
were saihng vessels and 14 were steamers. I 
wiU take the sailing vessels first. Twelve were 
missing vessels with regard to which it was 
natui-ally very difficult to determine to what 
extent the amount of ballast contributed to the 
casualty. Of these 12 missing sailing vessels 
three were found by a Court to be sufficiently 
ballasted ; in three cases the Court could not say 
with certainty whether the ballast was sufficient 
or not; and in six cases the ballast was pro- 
nounced to have been insufficient. 

1827. That is to say, of the sailing vessels 
which were missing during these 11 years, six 
were pronounced to be insufficiently ballasted ? 
Yes. Of the eight other sailing vessels four 
were -found to have been sufficiently ballasted, 
and in four the ballast was found insufficient. 

1828. Now you come to the steamers ? Yes. 
Of the fourteen steamers five were found to be 
sufficiently ballasted, four were doubtful, and 
five were found to be insufficiently ballasted. 
Thus we find that in the eleven years ending 
1902 ten sailing ves.sels and five steamers were 
found by Courts of Inquiry to have been 
insufficiently ballasted, i.e., on an average less 
than two each year. 

1829. There were more sailing vessels pro- 
nounced under-ballasted than steamers ? Yes, 
and this is very important when we remember 
that the total steam tonnage is far greater than 
the total sailing tonnage. I -will put in tables 
showing the numbers and gross tonnage of 
sailing and steamships on the register in each of 
the years 1886 to 1902, which is the longest 
period for which the figures arc available. In 
those sixteen years steamships have increased 
by about seven millions of tons gross, and 
sailing ships have decreased by about one 
and a half millions of tons gross, leaving a 
net increase of about five and a half millions of 
ton.s gross, the total tonnage on the Register in 
1902 being 1.5,3.57,042 tons gross, of which over 
80 per cent, was of steam vessels. The increase 
in .steam in the .single year 1902 was 790,674 
tons gross. The significance of these facts will 


Lord Shand continued. 

be seen when it is mentioned that of the 1758 
lives lost from all vessels in ballast during the 
last 18 years and eight months 1,208 were lost 
from sailing ships, and only 550 from steam- 
ships; and that of 911 lost in missing vessels 
with ballast 775 were lost from sailing ships 
and only 136 from steamships. (The document 
is handed in.) 

1830. Can you give the Committee any infor- 
mation as to the special kind of accident which 
is often attributed to insufficient ballasting, 
accidents to propeller shafts. We have heard a 
a good deal of that ? Yes. I have had a state- 
ment prepared showing all the shaft fractures 
which have taken place on board British steam 
ships since the 30tn June 1901. (The document 
is haiuled in.) 

Lord Shand. 

1831. When you say all the accidents, you 
surely cannot mean that. There must be an 
immense number which do not come under the 
notice of the Board of Trade ? These are all 
the shaft fractures. 

1832. There must be surely many shaft 
fractures during the different voyages that the 
Board of Trade know nothing about ? I greatly 
doubt that. I think we hear of every one. I 
think they are compelled to report every one 
within 24 hours. I tnink I may ask the Com- 
mittee to assume that we receive a report of 
every shaft fracture. I have had a statement 
prepared showing all the shaft fractures which 
nave taken place on board British steamships 
since the 30th of June, 1901. I have taken 
that period as being subsequent to the period 
covered by the last published Wreck Return. 
The total number of accidents to shafts in the 
year ended 30th June 1902, was 75, of which 34 
occurred on board vessels in ballast and 
41 on board vessels with cargoes. The 
total number in the six months ended on the 
31st December last was 35, of which 12 occurred 
on board vessels in ballast and 28 on board 
vessels with cargoes. As there were 5,951 
steamships employed at sea in the year 1901 the 
percentage of steamers which met with accidents 
to their shafts was about IJ per cent. Whether 
the proportion of accidents was higher amongst 
vessels in ballast than amongst vessels with 
cargoes cannot be determined in the absence of 
data respecting the condition of vessels whilst 
abroad, but the proportion of shaft accidents in 
ballast condition in the foreign trade has been 
less this winter than last, the ngures being twenty 
in ballast and twenty-seven with cargo in 1901-2 
against six in ballast and fifteen with cargo 
in the last six months of 1902. Much expense 
has doubtless been incurred in connection with 
these breakdowns in respect of delay and salvage, 
but from the point of, view of safety they did 
not call for any special attention as in no case 
was there the loss of a vessel or a life. 


1833. We heard that there had been an 
alteration in Lloyds' Rules and that a Com- 
mittee was appointed, and that in consequence 
of that they made some difference in insisting 
en greater strength in tlio shafts ; has that had 
any considerable effect ? I think it must have 




: IG March 1903.] 

Air. Howell, c.h. 


Chairman continued, 
hftd a most useful effect. Shaft failures have 
been a continual source of anxiety to the Board 
of Trade, to underwritei-s, and to the Register 
Societies for some years. They have been steadily 
at work finding out how they could bo reduced 
in number, and ] think that they have found a 
solution. The number is steadily decreasing and 
is now comparatively small. 

1834. Can you remember when that Com- 
mittee was appointed when the new rules 
came out ? 1 tnink it was about 1899, speaking 
from memory. 

1835. And you think that has had some 
effect ? It has had a most useful effect. I 
should like to take this opportimity of saying 
that I think the public attention that has been 
called to this matter has had a most salutary 
effect. WTien Lord JIuskerry first began to 
take very great interest in this matter, the 
Board of Trade were engaged already in 
enquiring into it and watching it. I think the 
attention that has been called to this question 
through the action of Lord Muskerry and the 
appointment of this Committee has had a very 
useful influence. 

183G. Have you any further figures vnth 
regard to shaft failures ? The figures I have 
just given are ilie official figures relating to 
shaft failures. I should like to mention that one 
of the shipping papers which has for some time 
advocated the adoption of a light load line has 
published periodical lists of siiafi failures, and in 
a recent issue while admitting that there has been 
a steady decrease in the number of such acci- 
accidents, it stated that " it is generally admitted 
that ballast voyages are the most potent in- 
fluence at work ui swelling the dimensions of the 
broken shaft list." Well, 1 examined their list 
for last year and found it consisted of 116 cases. 
Of these 62 were foreign ships, of which eight 
were stated to be in ballast, and of the 54 British 
ships 11 were stated to be in ballast. If we 
compare the whole of the 54 British cases with 
the total number of British steamers over 400 
tons (about 5,400) the proportion is about 1 per 
cent. ; and if we compare with tnis 
total number of vessels the number of 
British vessels which Avere stated to have met 
with shaft accidents whilst in ballast, it is about 
one-fifth of 1 per cent. 

1837. Then we come to the reports of the sur- 
veyors. You have alread}', I think, told us 
something about the surveyors. Do you wish to 
say anything more ? I .should like to state just 
shortly that they are officers appointed by the 
Board of Trade to carry out various duties in 
connection with the inspection of ships. They 
are stationed mainly at the principal ports. 
There are 132 officers altogether, including the 
supervising officers ; of these 21 are nautical 
siu-veyors, 79 are engineers, und 32 are ship- 
wrights. They are appointed after careful selec- 
tion and after competition. They are skilled 
technical men, and their duties keep them in 
constant touch with ships, shipmasters, ship- 
owners, and shipbuilders. Wlien any difficult 
question connected with ships such as this arises 
we invariably ask them for reports. With regard 
to this question of im dor-ballasting, we have 

Chairman continued. 

asked for reports on three separate occasions 
.since 1898. 

1.S38. Reports from surveyors you mean ( 
Reports from surveyors whose numbers I have 
just given. We wanted to know whether the\- 
liad noticed ships arriving or leaving in an un.sea- 
worthy state through under-ballasting; whether 
special precautions were being taken to guard 
against under-ballasting, and , whether extra 
ballast space was being provided in new ships. 

1839. Can you give us the gist of the replies 
you received ? It is difficult to summarise tnem 
properly in a few words, because individual sur- 
veyors take different views ; but, speaking 
generally, the replies were that no vessel.'^ 
had come under the surveyors' notice which were 
so unsea worthy through under-ballasting as to be 
dangerous t o life (which, of course, is the pomt 
upon which the whole action of tho Board of 
Trade turns) but some vessels (they adde<l ) 
might with advantage take more ballast than 
they do. Of course, the surveyors are limited in 
number, and cannot take particular notice ot 
every ship ; it is also difficult in any one case to 
indicate the point at which a particular ship 
becomes unsafe, as ships differ so much in their 
actual behaviour at sea. But the sui-veyors are 
experienced men, continually on the look out. 
If they saw anything dangerous they would 
report to us, which would enUiil no responsibility. 
No such reports have been made, and this alone 
shows, in my opinion, that dangerous under- 
ballasting is, at any rate, not a common or 
regular thing. 

1840. Then what do ypu say as to the pro- 
cautions taken to prevent under-ballasting ? 
Well, the siu-veyors on that point report that 
vessels making Atlantic voyages invariably take 
excess bunker coal, or solid ballast of some kind, 
or else they are fitted with .additional water 
ballast (i.e., with deep tanks in addition to the 
usual double bottoms and peak tanks at t:he two 
ends of the .ship). In other vessels making 
short coastwise voyages these extra precautions 
are not taken as a general rule. They usually 
rely on their water ballast alone. 

1841. You said just now that some of the 
officers think that some of the vessels might 
with advantage take more ballast ? Yes ; in the 
last series of reports which we have just received 
one officer says that the tendency is to put no 
more ballast on board than is absolutely neces- 
sary. Another expressed the opinion that cargo 
steamers, except those built for particular trades, 
have in some cases not enough water ballast to 
enable them to meet bad weather at the end of 
the voyage. Further, officers at three ports 
Leith, Glasgow, and Cork mention that masters 
and officers have complained to them of the 
risks which they have to run with their vessels 
in a light condition should they happen to meet 
bad weather. 

1842. And the danger increasesas the coal is being 
consumed ? Naturally ; the vessel gets lighter. 
On the other hand, another officer (an officer 1 
may say of recent sea experience, who has 
been with the Board of Trade I think about two 
years) reports that during his time at sea he was 
never in a ship so under-ballasted as to be un- 
safe. The last steamer he commanded was 




16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Howell, c b. 


Chairman continiied. 

3,085 tons gross, and had only 433 tons of water 
ballast ; yet he sailed this vessel in ballast in all 
trades and tor long distances, and never found 
her unmanageable. 

1843. Vou do not say " in all weathers " s' No. 
I am giving you his exact words. I am most 
anxious to give everything to you without the 
smallest bias as far as I possibly can. These are 
only individual opinions. I do not wish undue 
weight attached to them, 

1844. I do not impugn it ; 1 only noticed that 
the weather was not mentioned. Xo, it is not, 
but thre is a little more. He goes on to say 
that he has made inquiries of a great number of 
masters, and not one of them had ever found 
his vessel unmanageable in heavy weather. 
He believes that steamers generallj' are suffi- 
ciently ballasted to render them seaworthy if 
they are properly handled at sea. 

1845. Then what is your own conclusion ^ I 
believe that a certain number of vessels go to 
.sea so ballasted that they have difficulty in main- 
taining their course, are delayed, and suffer 
.severe strain, both to hull and machineiy. Also 
that under unfavourable circumstances and in 
narrow waters there is a risk, especially if the 
vessel is not navigated with great skill and 
judgment, of a ship being blown ashore. I am 
also told that vessels in water ballast, with all 
the weight low down in the ship, roll violently 
and are extremely uncomfortable. But the 
cases in which there is serious danger lo life, 
which is due to under-ballasting, and which 
cannot be obviated by good seamanship, are, I 
believe, very rare mdeed. 

1846. Tnen you do not consider yourself that 
iinder-ballastiiig is an evil of a very pressing 
njiture < No. I prefer to regard it i-ather as a 
problem to be solved (which is in process of 
solution) than as af evil to be checked by 
restrictive legislation. So far as regards steamers 
(and it is with them that we are chiefly con- 
cerne<l) the problem of ballasting has come to 
the front in recent years, I am told, through 
two principal causes: The first is that, while 
it 1ms been found economical largely to increase 
the dimensions of cargo vessels within the past, 
say, 20 years, the depth of water available on 
harbour bars, in rivers, such as the Thames and in 
the Suez Canal, has not generally been increased 
in the same proportion as the dimensions of the 
Vessels. The problem before the shipowner is 
to carrv as large a deadweight as possible 
on a limited draught, at tne lowest first 
cost of vessel, as economically as possible, 
and the result is a tendency to depart 
from the model in vogue 20 years ago, and to 
approach more and more nearly the form of a 
Thames barge in order to secure a large dead- 
weight carrying capacity on given dimensions of 
VRSsel and given draught. The full form has 
not, it is believed, produced a worse sea boat 
than the finer type of vessel. A rough estimate 
has been made by one of our chief technical 
officers, that the reduction of the vessel's draught 
of water when in light condition, due to this 
filling out of the ends, and also of the bilges, 
might amount, in a vessel of about 7,500 tons 
gross, to atwut two feet ; and to irtirnerse the vessel 
two feet a weight of about 1,000 tons would have 


Chairman continued. 

put on board. In a smaller vessel the reduction 
of the draught would be proportionately less. 

1847. Then put shortly the first cause is the 
alteration which has taken place in the form of 
the ships ? I think so, imdoubtedly. The cir- 
cumstance next in importance is that, owing to 
the general substitution of steel for iron in the 
construction of the hulls and to other improve- 
ments both in hull and machinery, the weight 
of a vessel of given tonnage has teen reduced. 
A general reduction of 20 per cent, has been 
made in the tliickness of plates, &c., and this 
would result, in a vessel of 7,500 tons, in a 
reduction of weight of about 500 tons and 
a corresponding reduction of draught when 
in the light condition of about 12 inches. The 
reduction in the weight of machinery due to 
various causes would not be gi'eat in a cargo 
steamer, and might perhaps bo set down as 50 
to 100 tons in a large vessel. There may be 
other circumstances which have caused the 
question of under-ballasting to come to the 
front of late years, but I think the two I have 
named are the chief considerations. I do not 
wish to give technical opinions before the Com- 
mittee. That is the opinion (I will state it at 
once) of our chief naval architect, Mr. Archer. 
If the Committee would wish to call him or, 
indeed, any technical officer of the Board of 
Trade I need not say how glad the Board of 
Trade would be, if you wish it, to produce him. 

1848. Then the causes that vou have jus- 
mentioned have increased the difficulty of bal- 
lasting ; is that one of the things ? I think so. 

1849. Then you said just now that the 
accidents from under-ballasting had rather 
diminished. That does not quite agree with this 
where you say that these two causes the light- 
ness of the material and the form of the ship 
have caused possibly greater danger ? My point 
rather was that the problem is being solved. 

1850. Has been solved ? Is being solved ; is 
in course of being solved; that it has been 
tackled and that it is being solved. 

1851. Your position is that the question of 
ballasting is one which has arisen owing to the 
development of the modem merchant steam 
ship ? Yes ; time, I think, is required to realise 
the difficulties caused by the new state of things ; 
to find a remedy and to apply that remedy to all 
cases. The problem is one to be studied b}- ship- 
owners, shipbuilders, and shipmasters, and 
some will naturally move more rapidly than 
others. But, as I said, I think the problem is 
being gradually solved, and it is being more 
rapidly solved on account of what Lord Muskerry 
has done in the matter I have no doubt. 

1852. What makes you think so ? That the 
question is being gradually solved ? I think the 
question is being gradually sohed because the 
reports and communications I receive from 
various sources lead me to the conclusion that 
shipowners and underwriters are becoming alive 
to the question and are realising that under- 
ballasting means loss of money. An under- 
ballasted vessel cannot keep her dates, and must 
cost more tor up-keep and repairs owing to the 
strains and damage to the hull and machinery. 
This cannot be to anyone's advantage, and I 
think this is being realised. 

O 2 1853. Can 



16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Howell, c.b. 


Chairman continued. 

1853. Can you point to any particular facts in 
support of tnis opinion ? Yes, the increased 
water ballast space which is being provided in 
new ships. The surveyoi-s report tnat during 
the last few years there has been a marked in- 
creiise of provision for water ballast in new 
ships, especially in the larger vessels and in 
those bunt for special trades. I have had the 
figures got out regarding the vessels built in the 
last five years. The results are as follows : 




ballast to under-deck 


1898 ... 

. . . 28-53 per cent. 

1899 ... 

... 29-67 

1900 ... 

... 3119 

1901 ... 

... 29-46 

1902 ... 

... 32-58 

Another fact I may mention is that some lines 
have adopted ballasting rules of their own, e.g., 
one is that the propeller is always to be com- 
pletely immersed, and the difference in trim 
between stem and stern is not to exceed 18 
inches for each 100 feet of the ship's length. I 
should like to submit to the Committee that it 
is an easy thing for the shipowner when he has 
a fleet of ships of a particular type engaged in a 
particular trade he has experience to guide 
liim to make a rule of that kind. It is a 
very different thing to lay down a rule to affect 
iill types and all classes of vessels. 

1854. Then you think, as far as you can see, 
that the matter looks as if it was curing itself ? 
Yes, that is my deliberate opinion, and therefore 
I would deprecate legislation. The question of 
ballasting should continue to be very carefully 
watched, and if, contrary to our expectation, 
danger to life should develop, which cannot be 
dealt with in any other way, the question of in- 
troducing legislation can be considered. 

1855. Have you any particular objections to 
uf^^.e against the Light Load Line Bill ? Well, 
it coiiild not be worked until light load line tables 
had beei> prepared. The deep load line tables 
were the olii.tcome of years of study and experi- 
ence, after a very strong case had been made out 
for the deep loa d line, and I am told that light 
load line tables wmuld be more difficult to pre- 
pare than the oth&rs, because there are more 
factors to consider. Steamers differ so much in 
trim, height and extent of deck erections, pre- 
sence or absence of awnings and spar decks, area 
and form of rudder, indicated horse-power, speed, 
diameter of propeller, &c., tha^t the preparation 
of such tables would iye extrem'e^ly difficult. Se- 
condly, even after the tables hadi been prepared 
and were in working order, they 'would have to 
be adjusted to each particular voyiige. A loaded 
ship becomes safer as her coal is tournt out, but 
the reverse is the case with a balla>sted ship, so 
that in providing for a light load If ne it would 
be necessary to consider where a vess el is going 
to, what the average passage is, and tlie amount 
of the daily coal consumption, before itf: could be 
decided what should be the draught aHid trim at 
the commencement of the voyage. Tllns would 
mean a load line varying according to th^ nature 
and duration of the voyage. \ 

1856. These are difficulties of administi,-ation, 
and no doubt they are very formidable ; but I 

Cluiirman continued. 

suppose you would say that they would have to 
be overcome if there was real cause shown for a 
compulsory light load line ? Most certainly, if 
real cause were shown ; but even if these diffi- 
culties were overcome, and it were enacted that 
a vessel might be detained if she had not a cer- 
tain specified immersion, and that her master 
should be liable to a penalty if at any time and 
any where less than a certain portion of the 
vessel was immersed, you could not apply this 
law equally to foreigners, because you could only 
insist on their compliance while they were 
actually in your jurisdiction, and you could not 
deal Avith them for non-compliance anywhere 
outside that jurisdiction. Even if a good case 
were made out for the Bill, this last objection 
would merit very serious consideration, but what 
I have tried to indicate in my evidence is that 
no sufficient reason has yet been shown for any 
special legislation of this kind. 

1857. You have nothing more in the way of 
evidence to give in chief ? No, I think not. 

Lord Mihskerry. 

1858. I just want to take you first on the 
surveyors ; you say you have got a good deal of 
information from tKem and they state that it is 
not a general rule for ships to go to sea under- 
ballasted ? They show tnat by their action. 

1859. I suppose they are all trustworthy men. 
That does not apply to a light load line. You 
mention the case of under-manning ? Yes. 

1860. One of your surveyors must have let the 
" Foxglove " go to sea in a very under-manned 
condition ? -I do not rememlser the case. 

1861. The master and five ordinary seamen 
with no nautical experience, the mate, two 
foreign apprentices, a boatswain, and a cook and 
steward ? I do not remember the ease of the 
" Foxglove " at the moment but I will have it 
carefully looked into. Let me say in order to 
prevent any inisunderstanding that it is not, of 
course, pretended by the Board of Trale that 
their officers see every vessel before she proceeds 
to sea, or enquire into the manning or loading of 
every vessel before she proceeds to sea. 

1862. Do many under-laden vessels go to sea 
without your surveyor seeing them ? Quite 
possibly, and even over loaded too. When you 
consider the amount of the staff" of the Board 
of Trade you will see that it would be quite im- 
possible to exercise supervision of that kind 
watching every vessel that goes to sea. Your 
Lordships will remember that vessels proceed 
to sea at all hours of the day and night. 


1863. Then what guides them in selecting 
ships to be inspected before they go to sea? You 
say it is impossible to inspect them all and no 
doubt you are right because there is such an 
enormous number ; then what guides them with 
regard to the ships they do inspect ? They re- 
ceive reports from inanj' sources ; they are con- 
tinually going about the docks and are in touch 
with all classes of the seafaring community. They 
know exactly wh,t sort of vessels are likely to 
be suspicious and it is tkxt sort of general in- 




16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Howell, c.b. 


Chairman continued. 

formation they must go upon ; they cannot pre- 
tend to inspect every ship. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1864. There are many cases of casualties 
where you do not hold any inquiry ? No, there 
is no case of a casualty in which we hold no 

1865. I am going to deal with the " Zanetta " 
which you said parted from her anchors and 
drove on shore. You say the question of an 
inquiry was considered, but as there was no 
obscurity as to the cause of the casualty it was 
thought useless to hold one ? The " Inquiry " 
there means a Formal Investigation. 

1866. But did anyone let you know why that 
vessel was anchored there ; because I have the 
letter here showing that that vessel was in ballast 
and was unable to keep oti the shore and as a 
last resource anchored ? A preliminary inquiry 
was held. 

1867. I have your lettbf here saying so ? I 
wish to explain to you that " Inquiry ' in that 
letter means a" Formal Investigation. The facts 
as reported to me are : During a gale the vessel 
refused to steer and lay broadside to the ^vind ; 
anchors were let go but only held for a short 
time and the vessel drifted helple.ssly and went 
ashore. One man left the vessel against orders 
and was not seen again. A preliminary inquiry 
was held by the receiver, who is the collector of 
Customs, and that was carefully considered by 
the Board of Trade and it was thought unneces- 
sary to hold a Formal Investigation. 

1868. Then admittedly the cause of that vessel 
and the loss of a life owing to the vessel, going 
ashore was her being under-ballasted and nelp- 
less, was ic not ? I am not prepared to admit 
that. That is rather a technical detail and I 
would rather you put it to a technical witness. 

1869. At all events the report there says she 
was helples.s and anchored ? I do not wish to 
go away from the facts in the very least. A 
very great many other vessels were lost during 
the same gale with cargoes ; stranded. 

1870. I am sure the last thing that vou would 
think of sajing would be that loss of life, even 
to a very small extent, ought not to be con- 
sidered ? Certainly, I think all the facts should 
be considered. 

1871. I think the loss of one life really was 
the cause (in the case of the murder of 
Mr. Briggs ; it was the ease of the loss of only 
one life) a change in the law ; would j^ou 
say there must be a greater number of lives 
lost in this case before you would take pre- 
cautions ? I should not care to express an 
opinion. You are asking me about how many 
lives I would expect to be lost before I would 
recommend, myself, a light load line. That is 
really what it comes to. 

1872. Would you put a percentage ? No, 
certainly not; I think figures should not besimply 
counted ; they should be weighed ; I would 
have regard to the whole of the circumstances, 
but I can imagine a case in which the loss of 
one life might lead to something more severe 
than the loss of 20 in another. 

1873. There is another case I want to bring 
before you. Perhaps you remember the " Mar- 

Lord Jfiisierry continued. 

garet Mitchell " which we heard described in th 
evidence ? That is a case in which a formal 
inquiry has been held. 

1874. Your surveyor must have let that ship 
go to sea in an unseaworthy condition ? I do 
not at all admit that the surveyor must have 
let that ship go to sea in an unseaworthy con- 

1875. But she did go to sea in an unsea- 
worthy condition ? I do not think she was an 
under-ballasted vessel even ; she was coal-laden. 

1876. Oh, no, not under-ballasted ; I merely 
wish to say that surveyors are not always able 
to deal with these things ? -Just let me say this : 
You will quite understand my reluctance to 
discuss the finding of a Court of Inquiry 
whether that was right or wrong. I am not sure 
whether the surveyors actually saw this vessel 
at all. If they did, they certainly did not think 
her unseaworthy. You must remember the 
judgment is ex post facto wisdom ; the 
surveyor has to judge before the vessel goes, not 
after something nas happened to her. I do not 
for a moment say that vessels that are unsea- 
worthy do not get to sea. I do not say that for 
a moment. 

1877. You admit that a good number of 
vessels may go to sea that have never been seen 
by a surveyor ? Certainly, it is obvious. 

1878. I do not know whether you have seen 
any extracts of the evidence that has been given, 
but the consensus of opinion amongst nautical 

-masters and officers seems to be that 


this line is very badly wan.tcd ? I think the 
evidence put before this Committee, so far, has 
been purely ex parte. No doubt the tendency 
of the evidence produced so far has been what 
you say ; naturally, that is so. 

Lord Shand. 

1879. What does that mean ? One-sided. 
You have only got the one side. 

1880. If we have had the views of ship-masters 
in large numbers, would you call that one-sided ? 
I think you could easily find numbers of ship- 
masters the other way. 

1881. We have not had any ? That is why I 
say it is put before you from one point of view. 

'l882. You think a great number of shipmasters 
are against it ? Yes, especially shipmasters that 
are at present in employment. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1883. That is it shipmasters that are at 
present in employment not in the tramps ? 
And plenty who have retired, too. 

1884. Do not you know that you would hardly 
be able to get one single master to say what was 
displeasing to his owner ? I do not know. 

1885. He would be a most remarkable man if 
you did ? The evidence I gave just now of one 
of our own surveyors was that of a man who had 
been a master ? 

1886. He may have been fortunate enough 
not to sail in any one of these ballast ships ? 
Of course he has retired I grant you that. 

1887. I suppose you would not deny that an 
under-ballasted vessel is an unseaworthy ship ; 
that is understood ? No, it depends upon the 

1888. " Under-ballasted " 



K) March 1903.] 

Mr. Howell, c.b. 


Lord Muakert^y continued. 

1888. "Under-biillasted" I did not say 
" ballaste<l "; I say an under-ballasted ship ? I 
think there are many cases in which there is a 
certain amount of under- balla.sting, but it would 
be impossible to .say that the vessel was imsca- 
worthy in consequence. 

1889. If the evidence given is that these ships, 
if caught on a lee shore, are unable to " claw " 
off, what would you say ( That is a technical 
question that I should not care to caiT^- very far 
with you, my Lord. It is all a question of 
degree. Let me make myself quite clear. If a 
vessel is unseaworthy from improper or insuffi- 
cient ballasting of courre she is " unsafe," and 
ought to be stopped. 

1890. I should just like to ask you one other 
thing that is about the case of the " Sylviana." 
The captain there was exonerated from blame, 
and I believe the owners were blamed is not 
that so ? I beUeve so. 

1891. No prosecution has been brought for- 
ward against them ? The " Sylviana " case has 
been before us very much. It is a very exceptional 
case. I should lilce to point out first that I dis- 
like very much discussing the reports of Courts 
of Inquiry, but I must point this out to the 
Committee: There is a conflict of testimony 
here. The master says he told the owners cer- 
tain things, the owners absolutely deny it. 
I should like to call your attention to the com- 
position of the Court. The owner is not repre- 
sented on that at all. There are two masters, 
two sailor men, two nautical men. 

1892. Assessors ?-^Yes, and one engineer. If 
the owner in one of these Courts is fined (the 
Court has power to fine and to give costs) that 
owner has no appeal. I think that is most hard 
on the owner. 

1893. The owner has no appeal ? He has no 
appeal whatever. 

1804. I did not know that before ? If the 
master has his certificate dealt with he can 
appeal. I want to put it in the most cautious 
way, but in this case of the " Sylviana " there 
is a direct conflict of testimony. I would not 
suggest for one single moment that the masters 
and assessors do not look at the matter judicially, 
but they would certainly quite properly have 
a tendency rather to exonerate their own " cloth " 
than the shipowner. I, as I have said, dislike 
to discuss these reports of Courts of Inquiry 
very much ; I have not heard the evidence ; I 
am not in so favourable a position to judge of 
its weight fi-om simply reading it, but I have no 
doubt that the facts of this case will be placed 
before you on behalf of the owner and therefore 
I should like to say as little about it as possible, 
if I may. 

1895. At all events these nautical assessors are 
nautical experts, are they not ? Certainly. 

1896. I am sure you do not question their 
impartiality ? Not in the least. I should like 
to say here, if you will allow me, that I have the 
very highest opinion of the officers of the 
mercantile marine. There are no men more fit 
to be trusted with responsiliility than these 
masters. But I do not like the .symptoms I 
see of a desire to evade the responsibility which 
h-^s been placed upon them by Parliament, and 
which they only can properly exercise. 

Lord Musicerry continued. 

1897. I do not know whether you are aware 
that some of your surveyors favour this light 
load line very much i' I do not remember. I 
have not taken any steps to elicit their opinions 
except through these official reports. 

1898. You remember my communicating with 
the Board as to ni}' examining some of them, and 
the Board did not seem to look on that with 
favour ? Yes. I told your Lordship that if }ou 
wished to call any surveyor that was a matter tor 
this Committee that any surveyor that the 
Committee wished could come. What 1 was 
going on to say was that I thought it placed a 
junior surveyor in a rather invidious position to 
ask him to come up here and express an opinion 
as a Board of Trade surveyor which was not the 
opinion of the Board as a whole. I think it is a 
rather difficult position to put an officer in ; and 
as I did not see the name of the officer you re- 
ferred to amongst the list of witnesses here I 
thought the noble Lord (with that consideration 
which he has always sho\vn in regard to anything 
I have said to him) had abandoned -the icfea. 

1899. I thought after what the Board of Trade 
had said against it, it would be hopeless to ask ? 
I am sure your Lordship would Know me better 
than to suppose that I should endeavour to 
exercise influence over the surveyor in the matter, 
I thought your good taste had snown you that it 
was better not to call him. 

1900 If you had interposed no objection 1 
shQuld certainly have called him if you had 
said you had no objection to his appearing here T 
I should'iike to say at once that I have no ob- 
jection to any surveyor or any officer of the 
Board of Trade being called by the Committee, 
but what I do object to is one party (as I regard 
Lord Muskerry m this matter) asking to pro- 
duce public officers as his witnesses. 

1901. But you have np objection to the Com- 
mittee calling them ? ^Not tne least, any officer 
we have. 

Lord Shand. 

1902. May I interpose one question: It comes 
to this, does it not, that we are to accept only 
evidence from the Board of Trade's nighest 
officials, and not ask any others for evidence ''. 
I should not care to put it like that. 

1903. You have done so, without intending it 
perhaps ; you have practically said that you 
think the assessor should not be called upon 
to give evidence here ? Assessors are not officers 
of the Board of Trade. 

1904. Surveyors but that the Board of Trade 
should be represented by their higher officials 
who are interested ? I do not want to put it 
quite so high as that. I think it is convenient 
tnat the views of the department should be laid 
before a Committee of this kind by its accredited 
representative, but if the Committee comes to 
the conclusion that it would like to hear the 
evidence of any officer in the department I hope 
they will send for him. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1905. You said something like that about the 
assessors when you were talking of them. Are 
not they unsalaried officials ? They receive fees,, 

. I believe 

190G. But 



16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Howell, c.b. 


Lord Mimkerry continued. 

1906. But they are unsalaried officials ? They 
do not receive salaries. 

1907. Therefore they have a definite right to 
express their opinion on a public question, have 
they not ? I should not care to express a de- 
cided opinion upon that point. It is a matter 
for the Home Office. My point is that seeing 
that they occupy rather a (/i6.<*i- judicial position 
it seems to me that in tlie case of anyone in that 
position it rather lessens their usefulness for the 
purpose for which they are appointed. 

1908. Wlien you ask them just to prove the 
actual facts that come vmder their observation ? 
I think ultimately they are asked for matters 
of opinion. I do not wish to continue the sub- 
ject at all. 

Lord Brassey. 

1909. You mentioned, I think, in your enu- 
meration of the list of ve-ssels, sailing vessels 
which were missing (never been heard of), as 
having been lost from insufficient ballast ? Yes, 
that is .so. 

1910. Were any proceedings taken in conse- 
quence of the finding of the Court of Inquiry 
against the owners ? Each case was carefuUy 
considered, and it was decided that there were 
no grounds for instituting proceedings against 
owners in these cases. 

1911. In your analysis of the cases in which 
there has been loss of life from vessels insuffici- 
ently ballasted, did I gather from you that the 
loss of life was gi'eater in proportion in the 
smaller class of vessels than in the larger vessels ? 
Much larger in proportion in sailing vessels 
than in steam ; that was my main point. 

1912. Then between the tonnage was the loss 
of hfe greater in the case of the small vessel than 
in the case of the larger, in proportion ? I do 
not think I expressed any opinion upon that 
point ; but I noticed that several of the vessels 
from which there was loss of life were quite 
small some of them would not, in fact, come 
within the provisions of Lord Muskerry's Bill, 
or be required to have a light load line. 

1913. What is the limit of Lord Muskerry's 
Bill ? Eighty tons register. 

1914. It does not deal with smaller vessels 
than that ? I see here, looking through the list, 
on the very first page, vessels of 11 tons, 91 tons, 
2,000 tons, 45 tons, 33 tons ; so that there seems 
to be a considerable proportion of smaller 

1915. If a light load line were fixed in ac- 
cordance with tne provisions of Lord Muskerrv's 
Bill, how could it be enforced in the case "of 
vessels leaving foreign ports ? It could not be 
enforced at all. We should only be able to 
punish afterwards for not immersing that is to 
say, to punish afterwards on sufficient evidence 
for not immersing the disc. 

Lord Shand. 

1916. I think there is a difficulty, is there not, 
in even doing that with foreign ves.sels ? This 
refers to British vessels from foreign ports. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1917. That applies equally to tlie deep load 
line, does it not ? Oh, yes, distinctly. 

Lord Brassey. 

1918. As a Board of Trade officer, I gathered 
from you that you are much impressed with a 
sense that in any fixed rules tliat you may 
endeavour to lay down for Board of Trade in- 
spection, or any fixed rule that you may estab- 
lish under Board of Trade authority with regard 
to the loading of a ship, necessarily involves the 
relief of the shipowner from his proper responsi- 
bility i* To a certain extent it must have that 

1919. And from that point of view you would 
consider that all such rules may be prejudicial 
may tend tend really to increase the risk to life 
from acts of negligence on the part of ship- 
owners ? Yes. I think that shows how carefiil 
we ought to be before imposing new regulations 
they should only be imposed upon the strongest 
case being made out from the point of view of 
safety of life. 

1920. I think you have made it quite clear 
to us that you, from the Board of Trade point of 
view, see the impossibility of exercising a super- 
vision over the management of shipping by a 
Government Department which would really 
cover all risks ? Oh, yes. I should be very 
sorry to see it attempted. It would be saying 
' Good-bye " to the greatness of the shipping 
interest everywhere. 

1921. You have to look to the condition of 
the whole, to the storage and not only the 
weight of the cargo, but the trim whether the 
vessel is Ijy the bow or by the stern the state 
of repair of the machinery (which requires daily 
and hourly supervision), and in the case of the 
sailing ship the state of her hull, the state of her 
sails, and the soundness of her spars ; then not 
only the nunber of the crew, but the ability of 
each separate man ; (You may get a crew suffi- 
cient in number, but many of them most ill- 
qualified); the protection of deck-openings (a 
most important matter), and in view of all theso 
considerations you shrink from a policy which 
would relieve the shipower of his responsibility 
and put it upon the Board of Trade ? Yes. I 
think the facts you have mentioned have been 
very much appreciated by the Legislature in the 
past, and so they have limited the interference 
on the part oi the Board of Trade to stoj^ping 
vessels which are unseaworthy from going to sea. 

1922. Do you think the best guarantee for 
the .safety of life at sea is the general responsi- 
bility of the shipowner and his liability to pro- 
secution for neglect ? I think, certainly, that is 
the greatest source of safety for life at sea 

1923. I .should like to you one more 
question. The underwriters stand to lose by 
any failure to in.sist upon proper ballasting, but 
so far as you know do you consider that they 
are giving their best attention to framing proper 
rules for the guidance of shipmasters? I 
believe the underwriters are giving the matter 
most careful consideration, I believe there is a 
considerable difference of opinion among them 
about this very matter, but I should like to 
point out that underwriters are perfectly well 
able to take care of themselves. If they come 
to the conclusion that vessels are sent to sea 
under-ballasted they have only to put a clause 
in their policies that if such-and-such a thing 
is not submerged the policy shall be vitiated. 

^ 1924. "If 



16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Howell, c.b. 


Lord Muakerry. 

1924. " If such-and-such a thing is not sub- 
merged "what does that mean which would 
want a line ? Xo, tlie propeller it is a question 
ol property something for the shipowner and 
the underwriter themselves, I think. 

Lord Brassey. 

1925. If they were to experience an excep- 
tional loss from new sources of danger, such as 
those to whicli you have pointed in your 
evidence, from the ditierent materials now 
used in building ships the different form and 
so on they would be very quick to follow the 
lessons of experience by insisting upon what 
they would consider to be good rules vnth. regard 
to ballasting? Yes; and then adjust their 
premiums to the losses, of course. 

1926. And the premium the shipowner has to 
y is one of the most effective means of calling 
.8 attention to what requires dealing with ? 

Quite so. 

Lord Inverclyde 

1927. I think we had some evidence given 
here, which perhaps you may have seen ; it was 
stated by one or two witnesses that hardly a 
ship ever went to sea in ballast that was in a fit 
state to go to sea. Have you ever had any- 
thing m the slightest brought under your 
notice to bear that out ? Certainly not quite 
the contrary. 

1928. Do you think if such a state of matters 
existed that it would be possible that it would 
not come to your knowledge ? No, quite im- 

1929. I suppose also I may take it that if 
there had been any general proof that the light 
load line was wanted and was necessary, both 
for the safety of life and property, that the 
Board of Trade would have acted themselves in 
connection with the matter? We should look 
at it from the point of view of danger to life. 
We should certainly have acted if any danger 
to life had been made out. 

1930. But the general information that has 
come before you during all the years you have 
been connected with the matter, has been that 
the under-ballasting is not at any rate a growing 
thing, but rather the reverse ? Quite the 

1931. And I think you are of opinion that 
certain cases of under-ballasting arose from a 
change in the construction of ships and the 
material that was used, and you agree with 
what one or two witnesses have stated, that that 
is gradually curing itself ? I agree. 

1932. From the experience that ship builders 
and shipo^Tners are getting ? I think so. 

_ 1933. Your staff have had their special atten- 
tion drawn to this matter in connection with 
under-ballasting ? Again and again quite 
recently ; three times ; a most unusual thing for 

me to do ; I have three times quite recently 

since this matter was brought before the House 
of Lords by Lord Muskerry called for special 
reports from them ; so that they have special 
instructions to be on the alert to catch cases of 
this sort. 

1934. Have you any doubt that if it had been 
necessary action would have been taken to meet 
the cases said fo have occurred ? Most 
(loubtedly. Why not ? 

LonI Inverclyde continued. 

1935. In connection with the whole question, 
have you ever found that shipowners, or people 
connected with the shipping interest, have tried 
to shirk dealing with tnis matter and tried to 
avoid their responsibility in connection with the 
matter? Certainly not. I should like to say 
that in connection wth every matter we get the 
most cordial co-operation from shipowners, from 
the great ship-owning associations, from the 
Register Societies, from Shipmasters' Societies 
and from all the societies connected with ship- 
pin? ; they are most ready to help in every way. 

1936. We had iust now a considerable slur put 
upon the general body of shipowners by the 
statement that no shipmaster in regular em- 
ployment would come forward to say to his 
employer : Such and such a ship is not in a safe 
condition to go to sea. Of course that would 
answer in a general way to forciin^ shipowners 
but do you think they would like that state of 
matters ? No, certainly not. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1937. I did not mean to cast any slur on the 
whole of the sreneral body at all, because it does 
not apply to the great liners the big liners 
it is only the particular owners who do send 
their ships to sea in an unsea worthy condition 
to whom I alluded ? I may say (the thing 
has just come into my mmd) that if the 
shipowner has carefully gone with his builders 
into this question of under-ballasting, and has 
determined, in consultation with the best men 
he can get what is to be the particular 
light load line we will say the particular 
point to which his vessel is to be loaded, I can 
quite understand he would be a little impatient 
if a new captain was appointed to that vessel 
who had, perhaps very little scientific knowledge, 
and he put his view against the view that the 
owner had determined upon in consultation with 
scientific authority ; I can understand that hap- 
pening in some cases, but I believe that ship- 
owners generally would listen to their ship- 
masters when they make representations upon 
such a subject. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

1938. With regard to ships gone missing in 
ballast, I suppose it is quite a conceivable thing 
that other things may nave led to their having 

fone missing than insufficient ballasting? ^1 
ave given the Committee the analysis of cases 
I have inquired into. It may be from many 
other causes. 

1939. As a matter of fact, taking the whole of 
the British shipping statistics in regard to under- 
ballasting, they are very small ? Very small 
indeed. The more I look at the figures the 
more that is borne in upon me. 

1940. One or two of^ the witnesses who came 
forward to give evidence in favour of a light 
load line have felt no difficult}' in its being 
applied to foreign shipping what do you think 
about that ? Inere are two waj-s of applying it 
to foreign shipping. That is a very interesting 
subject, and it raises veiy delicate questions of 
International law how far you are justified in 

even in your own ports, with the 



internal concerns of a foreign vessel. I can 
imagine certain forms of retaliation even as- 
suming, for a moment, that under the conditions 




16 March 1903.] 

Mr, Howell, c.b. 


Lord Invprclydp contiuued. 

of International law we could do it. Suppose 
it involved American and German vessels 
here ; I can understand America saying : Well, 
if we concede the point that in your own 
ports you have a right to lay down the conditions 
on which foreigners shall trade here, very well ; 
then we have the same right at our ports, and 
you shall not trade from our ports unless you 
pay our rate of wages, for iristance. It costs a 
very great deal more to run a .ship under the 
American Hag than under the British flag. If 
Americans chose to take that view it would be 
rather awkward. 

1941. Is it not the case that under the law of 
this country shipowners in Britain are far more 
strictly dealt with than foreign shipowners ? 
I tliink [ may say, yes. I should like to qualifv 
that a little more. I tliink, speaking generally, 
there is a more careful supervision. In some 

Particulars, of course, we are not .so strict, 
'or instance, in the ITnited States they have a 
compulsory food scale. 

1942. Is it not the case, at least with regard 
to pa.ssengers on board ships, for instance with 
regard to boats and all that sort of thing, that 
we were stricter in this country than foreign 
ships ? In some respects I think we are. I 
think we lead in that matter as we do in others, 
that we set an example to the world 

1943. What I want to bring you up to in con- 
nection with that is : L'nless it can be shown 
that there is a crjing need for the Light Load 
Line Bill for the sake of life that British ship- 
owners would be more and more hampered if 
restrictions of that kind were put on their trade ? 
That is my cardinal point. It seems to me 
that British shipowners at the present moment 
are suffering from a period of depression and 
from severe competition with their foreign 
rivals I do not think any fresh legislative 
restrictions should be imposed upon them (with- 
out the strongest case being made out for it in 
the interest of safety of life), that cannot be 
imposed equally on their foreign competitors. 
It would be quite impossible to apply tne light 
load line equally to our own people and to 
foreigners, because our law can only apply to 
foreigners when they are within our jurisdiction, 
whereas it would follow our own people every- 
where and .so handicap them in their competition 
abroad with their foreign rivals. 

Ciiairrrui 11 . 

1944. Miglit I interpose one question here. 
The remark you make about foreigners and the 
light load line applies also to the deep load line, 
which is in existance now, does it not, with 
regarfl to foreigners ? Yes, and I have no doubt, 
gootl as the deep load line is, and splendidly as 
it has worked, m certain cases abroad it has 
worked to hanflicap our competition with 
foreigners, it must. 

194o. We heard there had been a Committee 
or Commission appointed by the Gei-mans, who 
had reported on the subject of both the deep 
load line and the light load line. Are you aware 
of that ? Oh, yes, quite ; and in France much the 
same thing is going on, and it is the French who 
are distinctly threatenint' retaliation. 


Chairman continued. 

1946. They threaten ? They are taking powers 
to enable them to retaliate. 

1947. If the same thing were imposed upon 
their ships as is imposed upon ours, do you 
mean ? Yes, undoubtedly. 

1948. This report of the German Parliament 
Was a different thing, was it not ? It was, 

1949. Did they recommend that there .should 
be a deep load line and a light load line for the 
German ships ? As I remember the report the 
matter was rather left open for further considera- 
tion. The opinion was expressed in Germany - 
by that very Committee, I think that in some 
respects our load line tables worked hardly ; 
in other cases they were not sufficiently severe ; 
and if load line tables and discs were adopted 
there, they would be disposed to hit some vessels 
harder and other vessels not so hard. 

Lord Muskerry. 

1950. Those two Governments themselves 
were going to impose these lines upon their 
own ships, if I riglitly recollect-? And upon 
foreigners, too, it we imposed ours upon them. 

1951. Oh, yes, but there was no question of 
imposing a line at the time >. I think it has 
been talked about in the Reichstag. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

1952. Suppose there was a load line, would 
there not be considerable practical difficulty in 
applying it to all classes of vessels, steamers, and 
so on ? Yes. I do not think that difficulty, 
however, from the point of view of science, would 
be impossible, but from the point of view of 
practicjibility I think it is impossible. It would 
interfere with and hamper business, and it be- 
comes, for practical purposes, an impossibility, 
but for scientific purposes I do not believe it to 
be impossible. 

1953. Would you be in favour of the discre- 
tion at present vested in them being taken en- 
tirely off the captain and owner if the light load 
line was imposed ! Certainly not. I think it 
would be madness to take away the responsibility 
from the captain, who goes through the ship in 
every way and knows everything about it. 

1954. Would not that be an argument against 
a light load line ? To a certain extent only to 
the same extent (I must be fair) that the maxi- 
mum load line is. 

Lord Shand. 

1955. About this matter of foreign vessels, I 
understand that foreign vessels coming to our 
English ports do not consider themselves in the 
least bound by our deep load line ? No. 

1956. Thev disregard it entirely just accord- 
ing as they cfesire ? Those which come in; those 
which go out we interfere with. 

1957. In regard to those which go out are they 
not permitted to go with a deeper line than the 
deep load line? No, certainly not. We have 
power under the Merchant Shipping Act to de- 
tain any foreign vessel that attempts to proceed 
to sea from our ports, having taken part of her 
load here, in an unseaworthy condition, and in 
recent years we have actually detained more 

P foreign 



16 March 1908.] 

Mr. Howell. c.b. 


Lord aiiand coutuiued. 

foreign vessels for attempting to proceed over- 
laden than wo have Britisn vessels. 

1958. That 1 did not know. Ha.s there been 
any threat of retaliation on that at;covnit ! The 
French are discussing it very nuich, and they 
appointed a Committee, but it has not got 
l)eyontl that yet. 

1959. I understood you to say that so far as 
foreign vessels are concered International difli- 
culties might arise, should yon think any pro- 
posid to tix our load line would just raise Inter- 
national questions, to tix our rules ? I am dis- 
posed to think we should not interfere with 
foreign ships more than we tan help, but 1 fully 
recognise that the British shipowner is engiiged 
in a severe competition with his foreign rival, 
and must hate to .see a foreign owned ship come 
in laden with more cargo than he is allowed to 
carry. If it rested there I should say, interfere, 
but before I interfered I should consider what 
we should gain and what we should lose, and the 
conclusion that 1 have arrived at is that we 
should lose a great deal more by having our 
ships interfered with in foreign ports than we 
should gain by interfering with theirs here. 

19G0. All the same you do enforce your rules, 
I suppose, in the case of ships too deeply 
loaded ? Proposing to go to sea from our ports, 
certainly. Although they are not required to ' 
have the load line disc, a great many of them 
are voluntarily putting it on in order to save 

19(il. If the light, load line was introduced and 
became obligatory throughout the covmtry the 
sjime rule could be applied in the ease of those 
vessels .sailing in ballast as is applied now in 
regard to loaded vessels ; that is to say, you 
could compel them to use the same line if it 
were established ? Probably it would be a much 
more difficult rule. You would have to get all 
sorts of particulai's out of the foreign shipowner. 
You have to get out of him, of course, certain 
particular for the maximum load line ; but you 
would want, in the case of the light ^oad line, to 
know all about the coal consumption, and a 
hundred other things, which I tlimk he would 
make a great difficulty about answering, and you 
could not legally act without knowing them. 

1962. Much greater difficulty ? Much greater 

1963. I quite appreciate all that sort of thing. 
In regard to lignt-loaded vessels, have you 
issued your instructions to your survevors 
to inspect all vessels of that kind ? Yes ; three 
times within the last five years we have issued 
special instructions for them to be on ths alert 
and on the look out. 

1964. And you have had reports from them ? 
We have had reports that tney have not had 
to interfere with one single vessel. 

1965 .Can you supply the Committee with 
copies of those instructions that you have .sent 
out ? Certainly. 

1966. 1 should certainly desire to have them. 
I think it would be strengthening your own 
case ? We are most anxious to place anv-thing 
before the Commiitee that they aesire to have. 

1967. I do not know whether you have seen 
any of the evidence given by Mr. McGla.shan, 
who appeared before us ? I have read certain 
parts of the evidence. I have not been able to 
follow it completely. 

Lord SItand continued. 
19(i. Mr. McGla.shan expressed the opinion 
that in a gi-eat many cases if the load line was 
introduced a very large class of vessels would be 
exempt from it. I dare .say you know that. 

1969. He says there is a high class of vessel 
that one would never think of using the line for. 
But you must impose it upon everyone alike 
if you impose it at all. 

1970. ] may say that in his view it is put in 
that way because he says there is a class of 
vessel that never can l)e under-ballasted. Is that 
so ? I think it is. That may be so, but if you 
impose a light load line at all you must impose 
it upon all alike. 

1971. If a certain class of vessel always goes 
to sea fully ballasted there is no occasion for 
them to have the light load line. He suggested 
that in the great bulk or cases something like 
55 per cent, ot the load displacement should be 
imposed. - Of course, I should like to ask you 
what you have to say on that. That is a jiurely 
technical suggestion. A great many suggestions 
of that kind have been made, and when the 
Board of Trade technical officer comes here to 
give evidence I suggest that you should put it 
to him rather than to me. 

1972. That is a question you would rather 
' have left over. I would sooner that that should 

be left to the technical expert. 

1973. Suppose the Committee should think 
that two many ships are allowed to sail in a light 
or insufficiently loaded condition, have you any 
suggestions that you could mijke that would 
prevent or diminish or mitigate the evil, suppos- 
ing the Committee came to the conclusion that 
there was a number of vessels allowed to sail too 
light. Have you any suggestion you could give 
us as to that ? It is a very difficult point and one 
that would require careful consideration. One 
thing that I Avould suggest would be this that 
there are certain portions of the tonnage law 
which might be amended so as to give ship- 
owners who provide more efficient water ballast- 
ing further reductions from their gross tonnage. 
That is one point. 

Lord Wolverton. 

1974. There is one already, is there not ? 
Yes ; I mean a further reduction. i 

Lord Shand. 

1975. Can you give us any idea of the amount 
of reduction you think the .shipowners would con- 
sider necessary ? No, it is merely a suggestion ; 
I have never carefully considered that matter 
and could not say more without very mature 

1976. I quite unnderstand that, but still that 
would mitigate the evil, you think ? To a cer- 
tain extent. That has been brought about by 
this fact : On one occasion a shipowner proposed 
to add certain water ballast tiUiks we all thought 
that an extremely good proposal ; but we found 
we should not be able to allow a deduction from 
the tonnage on account of that. I desire to ex- 
press the opinion that I think that in a matter 
of that kind where the shipowner was proposing 
to do something to increase the seaworthiness of 
his ship we ought to be able to allow a deduction 
in respect of that. Tliat is why I express the 

1977. Is 



16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Howell, c.b. 


Lord Shand continued. 

I;t77. Ls there any other suggestion you ean 
make. Suppose the Committee think that too 
many ships are allowed to sail light, is there any 
suggestion you can make that would help to 
prevent it ? -I think that beyond having the 
thing carefully watched (as is being done at 
present) there" is nothing useful that' could be 

1978. I suppese you .say thai, although they 
mav be sent to su sometimes slightfy light, 
they are never sent, or rarely, if ever sent in such 
a state as to be unseaworthy ? That is the limit 
of our interference, the Avords of the Act are so 

Srecise : " unfit to proceed to sea without serious 
anger to human life." That point is never 
approached, so far as our information goes. 

1079. Is it not the fact that if a ship is 
detained when she ought not to be detained and 
the shipowner after raises an action for damages 
against the Board of Trade, your Board has to 
meet that claim ? Certainly, and quite properly 
too, I think. 

1980. Has tliat occurred in many cases ? 
Very few indeed. 

1981. There are a number of reported cases in 
the books I see ? There are a certain number, 
especially in the earlier days when there was a 
great deal of agitation on this subject. Actions 
were brought against the Board of Trade, and 
damages were recovered, but there has not been 
such a case for years now, not one case. We act 
with the greatest cautiou, but at the same time, 
without the faintest fear of anything of that sort. 

1982. What I want to put to you is : Is not 
that a circumstamce that will deter your officials 
in different docks and different harbours, their 
fear of risking the Board of Trade being 
made liable in damages ^ Certainlv not ; it 
would only have the effect of making them 
careful. I have never heard a complaint of 
that kind from any Board of Trade Surveyor. 

1988. If it is a fact that damages have been 
given in several cases the person \vho is reporting 
to you must surely be deterred to some extent 
by It ^ No, I think not. In a great many cases 
in which damages have been given against us, 
the action has been the action of the Board of 
Trade. The sui-veyor has reported to the Board 
of Trade and the Board of Trade have deter- 
mined upon the particulars given that the ship 
is to be detained. 

1984. [t is very desirable that that power 
should remain, is it not ? Certainly. 

1985. But I want to know what the eti'ect of 
it upon these officials and men of the .same class 
will be ? I do not think there is the slightest fear. 

1986. Have they never been visited with any 
condemnations about it ? Certainly not. All 
we want them to do is to be careful. I should 
like to explain what happens. The junior sur- 
veyors are not entrusted with powers of deten- 
tion. Wliat they have to do is to go to the 
detaining officer (who is an officer of experience), 
and report to him exactly what they think is 

1987. What is the officer ? The detaining 

1988. That is a special appointment ? Yes ; 
that is not given to junior surveyors and so they 


Lord Hhand continued. 

go to the detaining officer and report the circum- 
stances to him. If he thinks the case requires 
immediate action he detains, if he thinks it 
necessarj". He can always refer the matter to 
the Board of Trade (if there is time) if he is in 
doubt, and so can any surveyor ; so that no 
officer need take any undue responsibility. 

1989. I suppose in many cases if the surveyor 
intimates to the captain that his vessel is not 

groperly loaded that produces good results ? 
h, yes, at once. 

1990. The captain yields :" Nearl)'^ always 
I have known a great many cases in which 
under-mannuig has been alleged, and the sur- 
veyor has thought that one more man or two 
more men ought to be shipped. 

1991. I do not care about the question of 
under-manning ? I was giving it as an example. 
It is just an example as to everything pertainmg^ 
to this subject. 

1992. As an illustration it is quite legiti- 
mate i I should like to give you the number ot 
vessels detained. 

1993. I only want to know about under- 
ballasting ? I mean they have reported hun- 
dreds and hundreds of cases. 

1994. Of under-manning i All sorts of things ;. 
every sort of unseaworthiness. 

1995. I quite appreciate that. Then you ex- 
pressed the view pretty strongly that masters 
were not controlled in respect of the amount of 
what they put on board to deepen the ship; is it 
not the case that a good many owners rather 
define to the master what they expect to be 
quite enough i It is possible it is done in some 
cases ; but I think there are very few owners who 
would not listen to the remonstrance of their 
mastei-s if they thought the ballast was not 

Lord Wolverton. 

1996. Under the Merchant Shippine Act we 
heard it stated at the beginning of this inquiry 
that this Section 457 (the important one that 
has been pointed out to the Committee) did not 
refer to under- ballasting. That is not your 
opinion at all, is it ? Certainly not. Every 
kind of unseaworthiness I should say is covered. 
May I read you the section ? 

1997; We can deal with that; but I want your 
evidence upon the subject. You think that 
under all these sections you are quite entitled to 
de^d with under-ballasting of ships ? No doubt 
of it. 

1998. You have power under these sections ^ 
Most distinctly. 

1999. Just one word more about responsibility. 
You .said in your evidence no doubt (which I 
think is clear and very able) that the surveyors 
would certainly report ; you had not any doubt 
that if the surveyor did see an unseawortny ship 
he would report it to you ? Most certainly. 

2000. Under the powers and penalties of this 
Act would not those powers be in a totally 
different direction. It is said that he would be 
afraid of stopping a ship tor being unseaworthy ? 
On the contrary. If that ship went to sea and 
was lost, the Board of Trade would call him very 
strictly to account. Therefore I say that the 

i> 2 whole 



Iti March 1S)CU.] 

Mr. HuwELL, uu. 


Lord Wolvertun continued. 

whole influoiice of tlie Boanl of Trade is to make 
him more severe, not le.s.s severe. 

2001. There is one other question raised the 
question of retaliation whicli is a very ditficult 
and thorny subject, b not it. It is no eood 
pointing out to our competitors the way in which 
ourooiiipetitors could retaliate, hut as far as that 
is concerne<l one witness sjiid he did not think 
there would be the loist retaliation ? There 
might be. I do not wish to make a bogey of 
retaliation; I do not think I am unduly afraid 
of it, but I think certainly very awkward 
questions might arise. 

2002. Very shortly we will go through just a 
few of these questions : ves.sel3 have been re- 
ferred to in evidence which are alleged to have 
met with casualties through under-ballasting. 
Have vou any information relating to those 
casualties ? \ es. The fifteen reports of in- 
quiries put in by Mr. Moore are dealt with in 
my evidence relating to ballast which have 
come into the Wreck Courts. As regards the 
" Winktield " (questions 80 to 95) in respect of 
which there wjus no inquiry before magistrates, 
I find that the vessel had arrived at*Liverpool 
from Brunswick, Georgia, with a cargo of pnos- 
phivte rock, and having discharged part ot her 
cargo had proceeded to Manchester where a 
further portion was dischai'gcd. She then pro- 
ceeded to Runcorn with the remainder of her 
cargo, about 1,()00 tons, having a canal pilot and 
a canal steersman on board and a tug ahead and 
another astern to assist. Moreover, the vessel 
was not going to sea at tne time, and would 
therefore not nave been affected bv the proposed 
light load line. The case was tried in the 
Admiralty Court and the Court found that the 
accident arose from sufficient allowance not 
ha\ang been made for the wind, the ve.ssel going 
too fast, and the telegraph failing to work when 
the order was given. 

2003. Is that the (,ase in the Manchester Ship 
Canal ? Yes. Your Lordship asked whether 
the was investigated by the Board of Trade, 
and the witness replied in the negative. 

2004. I thought this had been rather dis- 
posed of on the examination before ? 1 only 
wished to .sjiy that a preliminary inquiry was 
held, but the Board of Trade did not order a 
formal investigation in that case because the 
<^8e was taken into the Admiralty Court, 
which is a Court of A])peal from these Courts 
of Inquiry. 

Lord Wolvertoii. 

2005. Tlien have you anything to say with 
regard to the answer to question 229 ? Yes. 
Captain Roberts has referred to a number of 
casualties in the neighbourhoo<l of Holyhead 
during the last ten years which he attributes to 
the fact that the vessels were in ballast. 1 find 
that only one of the vessels referred to was 
totally lost, and she was a Russian, and that in 
no case was there any of life. Many of the 
vessels were small and the casualties unimport- 
ant, and nearly all of them occurred in gales 
during which serious casualties occurred to 
vessels with cjirgoes. For instance, when the 

Lord Wolverton continued. 

' Albion " went ashore in ballast, a largi' Aus- 
trian stwimer, the " Vienna," 2,033 registered 
tons, loaded with 3,300 tons of wheat and maize, 
was stranded owing to the force of the wind in 
the river Lee going up to ('ork and having 
the a.ssistanco of a tug. That will give you an 
instance of the enormous force of the wind 
that it affected not only vessels in ballast but 
numerous crises of vessels in cargo. 

Lord Muskerry. 

200G. The Lee is very narrow ! I should 
like to follow this case a little if I niav. When 
the ' Dorotea '" (ballast) Ciime into collision with 
the " Newhaven " through not having sufficient 
room to swing, the " Lady Acland," ' William," 
" Hannah," " Fairy Queen," and ' Mary," all 
laden, were driven ashore or into collision by 
the same gale. When the " Deloraine " (balhist) 
dragged into collision with other ves.sels the 
' Cuhc " broke from her tugs ; the "Julia " with 
coal was abandoned; the ' Fame " with salt, the 
" Esther " with clay, the " Odd " with iron and 
coke, and the steamship " Start " with wood 
pulp, all met with serious casualties in the same 
neighbourhood. When the " Ella Sayera " 
(ballast) w^s driven ashore the ' Dos Hermaiios," 
" Perseverance," and " Jofur " all laden, were 
stranded : the steamship " Mira " and brigantine 
" Henry Harvey " were damaged, the former with 
loss of life. Captain Noble referred to the " Loch 
Lomond " as under-balhisted. I have had that 
vessel looked up and find that five casualties to 
her have been reported during the last ten years, 
whilst with ciii'go, but none whilst in Vtallast. Mr. 
Chaston said that 80 per cent, of the shaft fi-ac- 
tures arise from under-ballasting, but the state- 
ment I have put in .shows that in the last 18 
months the percentage of fractures occuring in 
vessels in ballast (not from under-ballastmg) 
has only been 42 per cent. 


2007. 1 think we have not had it quite cleared 
up. The new rules of Lloyds' Register affecting 
shafts have only been in operation 18 months ? 
I think in 1899, they came in, speaking from 

2008. I think we quite understand they have 
only been in operation 18 months ? Quite pro- 

2009. Then Mr. Clements ? Mr. Clements 
refers to the stranding of the " William Hunter" 
at the back of Flamboro Head, two or three years 
ago without loss of life. I omnot tract, the 
stranding in question. I do not say it did not 
happen but I find that the " William Hunter " 
has been missing since 1892, when she sailed 
from the T^ne to Hamburg with a cargo of coal. 
Then Captain Ditchburn refers to the stranding 
and capsizing of the " Clac-na-Cudden " whilst 
in ballast, but gives no dates. I have not suc- 
ceeded in tracing either of the casualties referred 
to, but I have found that a barquentine of that 
name, belonging to Guernsey, of 190 tons, was 
wrecked on the Scroby Sand on the 19th April 
1894, on a voyage from Shields to Jersey, with 
a cargo consisting of 380 tons ot coal, or just 
double her net tonnage. 

2010. Then Mr. Mason /Mr. G. Mason 




16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Howell, c.b. 


Chairman continued. 

gives numbers of accidents to shatts and propel- 
lers in 1898 and 1901, but does not say vvhetner 
they were all Briiish. It seems purely specula- 
tive to assume that accidents to shafts of vessels 
with cargoes are attributable to the vessels 
having gone in ballast at some time previously. 

2011. If a mininnnu load line wei;e compul- 
sory, are there many cases in which it might act 
as an unreasonable restriction ? Yes, I think so. 
These are the Ciises of vessels going from port to 
port in close proximity to each other, such as 
irom Sunderland to the Tyne, from Glasgow to 
the Ayrshire ports, from Bristol to Newport, 
Cardiff or Barry, or vice versa, when the weather 
is tine and settled. If, in such cases, simply 
because the light load line existed, a vessel had 
to increase her quantity of ballast to any extent, 
it would be the cause of unreasonable delay and 

2012. The same restriction might hamper ves- 
sels when abroad, is that not so ? Yes ; in many 
cases cargo steamers have to go from one foreign 
to another in close proximity to it, and during 
weather which can fairly be depended upon, and 
in competing with foreign vessels in such trades, 
they would be at a clear disadvantage, as they 
would have to incur the delayand expense of extra 
ballast, not because the nature and duration of 
voyage demanded it, but simply because the law 
compelled them to load down to a certain mark. 
For instance, vessels going from one port to 
another in the Mediterranean and in the Indian 
Seas daring the fine weather season. 

20i;i Is it possible that the same argimient 
might apply to vessels trading from port to port 
with light cargoes ;' Yes, for instance, it might 
apply to vessels in the fruit trade, wlien they go 
from port to port picking up small consignments 
at each port. After taking in a small consign- 
ment at the first port, which did not put the 
vessel down to the prescribed line, she would 
have to take in ballast to carry her on to the 
next port, which might only be a short distance 
off, while the weather was fine and settled. This 
might also apply to the irade on the East Coast 
of Africa, where our ves.scls are trying to get a 
footing in competition with German snips. 

2014. We have been told that when vessels do 
leave British ports for ports in America with 
supplementary- ballast, such as sand, stone or 
TUDole, the master frequently throws it over in 
the Atlantic, thus makmg the vessel unsafe for 
the rest of the voyage ? l)oes the law not pro- 
vide a penalty for this > Yes, I think if such a were reported to the Board of Trade, the 
master could be prosecuted under section 220 
for a misdemeanour, or the case could be referred 
to a Local Marine Board to be dealt with imder 
Section 471, which involves dealing with the 
master's certificate. 

201.5. Has the deep load line legislation 
worked successfully, or has anything arisen in 
working it which points to the harm that may 
arise from hard and fast lines ? That is a very 
important point. The deep load line tables 
were admirably drawn up by a very able 
Committee, and have been most successful in 
their working and effect ; but even they, with 
all the care with which they were drawn, 

GhaArman continued. 

resulted in British vessels in the Atlantic trade 
being penalised unduly as compared with 
foreign vessels for about eight years, for at the 
end of eight years, viz.. in 1898, the freeboard 
of vessels in the North Atlantic in winter 
had to be reviewed and considerably modified 
by a new committee, so that practically this 
restriction, which Avas imposed in good faith 
and with every care, did prejudicially affect our 
shipowners for some eight j^ears. 

2016. You refer to the finding of the court in 
the case of the " Buckingham " : was there not 
a question of some delay in letting go the 
anchors. I think you have told us about that ? 
Yes, I think I have said enough about that. 

2017. I daresay you are aware we have had a 
good deal of evidence from those, who rer^ resent 
the masters of these vessels, and who declare 
that there is a very general feeling that ships go 
to sea verv often in insufficient ballast, and m 
that way fcecome very often unmanageable, and 
are dangerous not only to those on board but to 
other ships as they are unmanageable at sea. 
Well, you do not wholly differ from that, I 
imagine, because I think you say there is no 
doubt something to be done still about under- 
ballasted ships ? Yes, I think the problem is 
not altogether solved yet, but I think it iS' in 
process of solution. 

2018. It is in process of solution ? Yes. 

2019. Then there are these courts. You 
believe these courts on the whole woi-k very 
well ? Extremely well. 

2020. Then there are a considerable number 
of cases where they have actually found that 
ships have been probably lost owing to under ' 
ballasting ? I do not remember a single case in 
which a court has said that a vessel has been 
sent to sea in an state, and that she has 
been lost in consequence of that. 

2021. If she is under-ballasted she must be 
(uisafe. I think the evidence, particularly when 
she sailed from a foreign port, must almost be 
that she had .sailed from that port in ballast ? 
To a certain extent that she had sailed from 
that port in ballast, but not necessarily unsea- 
worthy in every case heard. 

2022. That is rather an important point ? 
Yes, it is a question of degree. 

2023. It is a question of degree It seems 
rather remarkable that if these courts are good 
and that if they find that these ships have come 
to grief owing to under-ballasting, nothing has 
ever been done to prosecute the owners or to 
pull up the officers who have allowed them to go 
to sea insufficiently ballasted ? I should be very 
sorrv indeed to .say that an owner was guilty of 
sending a ship to sea unsafe to human life, 
.simply on. the report of one of these courts. 
You have a penalty in a section of the Merchant 
Shipping Act dealing with this matter, an 
extremely heavy one. The offence of sending a 
ship to sea in an unseaworthy condition is 
atrocious, and it is a misdemeanour, for which 
the owner can be imprisoned for a long period. 

2024. Then you practically review these 
decisions before you a decision as to whether 
there should be any action taken or not ? 

2025. 1 suppose 



le March IHOaj 

Mr. HuWKLL, v.n. 

[Ctmti lilted. 

Cliairtiian continuod. 

2025. r suppose it lies with you absolutely : 
you would review every cjiso .' Certaiuly. When- 
ever the Court liius expre.s.sed an opinion wtih 
regard to unseaworthiness, the goes to the 
lawvers, who are asked : C'an we prosecute in 
this (yuse '. 

i()2() I may be wronjf ; I certainly thought 
we had a irood many brought before us 
something like 15 or 20 uses. eertainlv where 
iiisutticient ballast had been given by the Court 
a.s the of the accident ? We are on a very 
important question now at this moment. When 
a Court like that tinds that a ves.sel is insutti- 
ciently balla.sted, the question immediatelvarises : 
To what extent was she insuHiciently ballasted ^ 
W;us she so insutticiently balUistod as to be luisatc 
to life ? That i^s the sort of question. 

2027. [f she is unmanageable I presume she 
is unsafe to life, is she not '. Yes, if unmanage- 
able, and if that comes entirely from l)eing under- 
ballasted. If she is uimianagcable, she is of 
course unsafe My point at the moment is that 
it is one thing for a Court of Inquiry to .sjiy 
after the event that a vessel was sent to sea 
insufficiently bidlasted ; it is quite another tiling 
for the B()ard of Trade to institute criminal 

fm>ecedings under this Section 457, because it is 
lodged round with all sorts of precautions : " If 
any person sends " 

2028. I mean to an outsider who has not 
studied the question it seems rather extra- 
ordinary ? An outsider, my Lord '. 

2020. Yes. Would you go on to explain it, '. I mean to say (as I have said) it is one 
thing for a Court of Inquiry to say that a ship is 
insutticiently balliisted ; it is another thing to 
have sutticient evidence to convict a person of so 
atrocious an offence as sending ships to sea in 
an unsea worthy state. The owner might have 
con.sultcd everybod}' that he could and taken 
every means that he possibly could to see that 
the vessel was sent to sea in a seaworthy state. 

2030. It seems rather remarkable if there are 
so many cases that there is not now and then a 
case where something more has been done to 
the owner who has sent tlie ship to sea, or to the 
surveyor who has let the ship go to sea ? I 
think it is quite possible that tliere are cases in 
which there is not guilt}- knowledge, and in 
which you do not require this enormous weapon 
of a prosecution for misdemeanour, but perhaps 
.some slighter penaltv might l)e imposed by a 
Court ot Summary .Turi.sdiction. In this case 
you have to have a jury ; you have to go to the 
High Court when a shipowner is charged with 
this sort of ottence.' It has often occurred to me 
whether there might not be some milder [iro- 
ceeding before a court of summary 'jurisdiction, 
in which there need be no allegation of guilty 
knowledge, whether that might not be found 
an advantage. 

Lord Brassey. 

2031. A penalty by way of fine ? Something 
of that sort. It is something different to when 
the man tym be shown to send his ship to sea 
from fraud or with malicious intent. 


2032. We have had it perhaps you do not 

Cht irm n con tin ued. 

entirelv agree from masters, the masters them 
.selves liave sfiid that they felt that their ships- 
had not sufficient ballast, and were not really 
safe when they went to sea ? If I might, I 
would refer to a case which you have had before 
you the case of the " Sylviana." Assuming 
the master was right in saying that he warned 
the owners of the condition of that ves.sel if he 
did that, that <'obs a long way to show that he 
knowingly took the ship t(j sea afterwards in an 
unlit stiitc, and the Act of Parliament distinctly 
throws the responsibility upon him of doing 
that. I do not want to labour that point, tt 
seems to me that if he went to the owner and 
said : " You are forcing ine to take the ship to 
sea in this condition, she is not fit" that is evi- 
dence that he knowingly took her afterwards. 

2033. I am not at all siiying that this is the 
fact ; there may be contrary evidence coming to 
us ' Exactly. 

2034. But they .say this, that if they declined 
to take the ship to sea they would lose their 
place, that another person would take their 
pla(v immediately and go to sea with the .sliip^ 
Your Lordship is able to weigh that quite as 
well as I am. 

2035. You desire to watch on the part of the 
Board of Trade ; you wish to put the possibility 
that if things do not mend or I will not quite 
.sa}' that, but if there are evils shown in the 
future the Board of Trade themselves would 
suggest some remedy ? On a being made 
out foi- action the Board of Trade (their whole 
traditions will tell you) would interfere and pro- 
pose legislation at once. 

2036. That matter Lord Shand asked you 
about with regard to the tonnage of a ship if 
they were specially fitted up with good water 
tauKs and so on, that would require legislation I 
suppose, would it ? Yes. 

2037. Could that be done by an order of the 
Board of Trade without legislation ? No. 

Lord Sfuind. 

2038. 1 should think that is entirely in 
the hands of the Board of Trade the fixing 
of tonnage, is it not ? No, I think not. 

2039. Surely it is the Board of Trade that 
fixes with regard to every class of vessel what 
the tonnage is to be ? No ; the tanks proposed 
in this particular case it was impossible to 
exempt because they could also have been used 
for cargo. 

2040. Then there is an Act of Parliament 
which deals with it, you think ? Yes. 

2041. There is a matter I omitted to ask you 
about. Mr. McGlashan, I think, made the sug- 
gestion that if it was thought there was a sending 
out of too mail}- light ships, or the Board took 
that view, the same sort of procedure might pro- 
duce very good results on the light load line as 
in the case of fixing the deep load line, I mean 
by the Board of Trade (as the deciding body), 
Lloyds' Register and the Bureau Veritas and 
some important shipowners uniting together 
that might arrange something that would miti- 
gate all the evils that are certainly very seriously 
complained of I should like to know your view 
about that; whether if such a course as that 




W M,irch 190;5.] 

Mr. Howell, c.h. 


Lord Ska ltd contiimeil. 

look place ( ! appeal to the Board of Trade to 
give me help in this matter), you could not 
make some suggestion that might be useful, or 
something either in the way of regulations of 
the Board of Trade or of legislation ? I think 
the comparison between the light load line and 
the maximum load line is rather incomplete. 
What happened in the case of the maximum 
load line was this : A very strong case had been 
made out of loss of life at sea for the interfer- 
ence of the Government. The Government 
interfered and said fiiat a load line disc should 
be marked. A committee was appointed which 
drew up rules and tables of a most elaborate 
kind ; tliat conunittee contained representatives 
of the Board of Trade, Lloyd's Register, ship- 
owners, sliipbuilders and various other people. 

"2042. I want to understand this ? As regards 
the tables, that work was done by the Load Line 
Committee, Lloyd's Regi.ster, Bureau Veritas, 
and the British Corporation, Avhich all assign 
load lines checked by the Boai-d of Trade, and 
the whole thing has worked well ; but, as I say, 
we have not come to the initial stage of a case 
being made out here for interference at all. 

2048. I believe there is very general dissatis- 
faction now in respect ot the >vant of a light load 
hne, and that soineihingof the Siime kind might 
be done with advantage. A report by such a 
Board to this Committee would be of great 
value, would it not ( No, I do not think so. 

2044. Why not { I think it is for this Com- 
mittee, if I may venture to suggest. 

2045. If this Committee have not the 
technical knowledge that is necessaiy for know- 
ing, would it not ne a great assistance to this 
Committee to get a report l)y such a body as 

the drawing up of rules for this 

I do not quite follow 

that ? As to 

matter, do you mean ? 


2046. As to whether they would suggest any- 
thing in the shape of regulations to the Board 
or legislation which would meet the difficulty ? 
You mean to say the Board of Trade. I do not 
understand the question completely, my Lord 
I mean to say it seems to me your Lordships 
will be in pos.session of the information. You 
have called me to represent the view of the 
Board of Trade. My view is that no case has 
been made out from the point of view of loss of 
life for it. You will be able to have, certainly, 
if you wish it, the opinions of the officers repre- 
senting the assigning bodies. If you .send for 
them they will tell you exactly what they think. 
You can have the opinion of the British Cor- 
noration if you send for them, and you will 
nave the views of Lloyd's Register and other 
assigning bodies in the case of the maxinuim 
load line as to the way in which that was 
imposed, and you will be able to judge. 


2047. That Committee to which Lord Shand 
referred was not called in before the load line 
was decided, but in order to lay it down when it 
was decided to have it ? Quite ; and I was 

Chalnrmn continued. 

trying to explain that that was an essential 

2048. The only point I want to know is this 
about underwriters. Do you think that some- 
thing could be done by conditions being im- 
posed by the underwriters upon shipowners ? 
I think the underwriters can impose any condi- 
tion they think necessary. 

2049. Do you think ;, good influence would be 
exercised then which is not exercised now with 
regard to insufficient ballast :' I should like to 
put it in this way. If the underwriters think 
that there is an evil they have the power to cure 
it themselves absolutely. 

2050. They have great influence and power, I 
suppose ? Yes. 

Lord Slid I) d. 

2051. 1 .suspect the underwriters could only 
give general rules ; they could only say what 
they thought ; thev never could enforce them ? 
Why iK)t ! 1 made a suggestion about what 
underwriters could do, 1 think. That was that 
they (iould put a clause in their policies saying 
that if a vessel went to sea with more than a 
certain proportion of her propeller sulnnerged 
the policy snould be void. 

Lord Wolverton. 

2052. Just one flnal question. You told us that 
you might favour a further reduction in the 
tonnage of some of these ships that put in tanks ; 
I think they are upright tanks, are not they to 
hold grain as well as ballast ? I should not like 
to .say definitely what the tanks were ; I forget. 

2053. I think they are upright tanks, wnich 
will hold grain as well as water ballast ? Yes, 
something of that kind. 

2054. 1 believe they do get a certain deduction 
for them now, do not they ? For some of them 
they do, but if cargo is carried as well as ballast 
we cannot give it theia under the present law. 
I am speaking from memory ; it is a legal point. 

2055. You would, I think, give a further 
reduction if you could ? Yes, if it could be 
shown that those tanks were provided merely for 
safety I should be disposed to give a further 

Lord Inveriiijile. 
205U. In connection with those master who 
stated that they had gone to sea in ships that 
were under-ballasted, the next clause in the Act 
to that 457 you quoted runs, ' liable to a mis- 
demeanour " for having taken those ships to 
.seii ? Yes. 

2057. Except under exceptional circum- 
stances ? Yes, that is sub-section 2. 

2058, I think you have told us there are 
exceptions, and that as far as your judgment 
goes you do not believe that things are as 
represented, that no master will say to his 
employee that he is obliged to go i,o sea in an 
unseaworthy condition. You do not think that 
as a general rule ? As a general rule, certainly 
not. At the same time I should be sorry to say 
that improper influence was never brought to 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 

Adjourned for a short time. 



16 March 1903. 

The Must Honourahle THE MARQUESS OF GRAHAM is Examined, as follows: 


2059. Will you just state on what grounds ^'ou 
come forward ? I am a certified master marmer 
of the Mercantile Marino. I am also an A.ssociato 
of the Institute of Xaval Architects, and from 
experience gained in many voyages in many 
parts of the world I can testify that ves.sels are 
not infrequently to be met either leaving port or 
on the high seas in a condition which cannot be 
described otherwise than that of being in too 
light a trim. In support of that .statement I can 
testify to two cases specially that came within 
my notice, one was when T was homeward bound 
in the tmnsport " Tagus " from South Africa. 
We met a vessel approaching bows on, and by 
the rules of the road each vessel should port 
their helm and go to starboard ; we began to port 
ours ; she did not port hers, and she was very 
high out of the water running free, and we passed^ 
within a stone's throw of one another. It was a 
perfectly calm day. Had it been a stormy day 
or a stormy night, and each ship in charge of a 
junior officer, there is very little doubt we might 
have had a collision. The second case was when 
navigating the yacht " Mione " home from 
Brindisi also homeward bound ; when we passed 
the westernmost end ot Sicily there was a vessel 
crossing ; she was in too light ballast ; her 
screw was thrashing the water. By the rules of 
the road she having us on her starboard bow she 
should have gone under our stern, but we waited 
until we sawa collision was becoming inevitable, so 
we had to break the rules of the road and alter 
our helm so as to avoid a collision. Had we 
not broken the rules of the road there would 
undoubtedly have been a collision. Those were 
two special cases which came under my 

2060. Was this last vessel under-ballasted ? 
The last vessel was in too light a trim ; whether 
she had ballast in her or not I do not know. It 
occurred to me that vessels when they are in 
too light a trim are unmanageable for several 
reasons; they are not immersed' in the water 
to that degree which will enable the propeller 
to grip the water and thereby gain the amount 
of propulsive power which is necessary to give 
the ship way. Also they are unmanageable 
because the propeller is breaking the water 
and sucking down air. When a ship's propeller 
sucks down air it loses efficiency. 'The effi- 
ciency of a properly immersed propeller is about 
70 per cent., but should the propeller break the 
water ever so little, even by 2 or 3 inches, its 
efficiency falls down to below 50 per cent., 
and therefore the ship may become unmanage- 
able. Another reason is, that when a ship's 
rudder is too high out of the water ; it is 
unable to exert the influence against the 
water which, combined with way, gives her 
steerage ; and a fourth reason is because her 
rudder being high out of water, it is unable 
to counteract the lateral steering influence 
given by a semi-immersed propeller. A 
propeller when it is semi-immersed, the lower 
part as it turns round is mclined to force 
the stem rouid and force the bow away, 

Cha irman continued. 

and the upper part is doing no steering ; but it 
the propeller is properly immersed then the 
upper part of the propeller counterbalancf,s the 
lower part and so the ship steers. It is the 
lateral play of a semi-immersed propeller that 
Ciiuses the breaking of shafts. \\ ith regard ta 
the trim of a vessel it is a perfect faflacy to 
imagine that the height of platform alone gives 
a ship stability gives her a safe or a danger- 
ous condition when floating To be seaworthy 
a ship must have stability and reserve buoyancy. 
Stability depends entirely upon the weight 
which the snip carries low down in her hold, and 
therefore it is specially important with regard to 
stability, as regards the density of the cargo or 
the ballast carried, the greater the weight and 
the lower down it is the greater the stability ot 
the ship. While the free-board tables formed 
by the Load Line Commission in 1898 are a 
monument to their industry, one must remember 
in using them that stability was hardfy calcu- 
lated ; consequently in using them the mariner 
has to calculate whether a vessel will have 
stability when she is loaded with her particular 
cargo or when she is carrying ballast. The most 
effectual wayjof insuring the safe loading ot a ship, 
or the proper ballasting of a ship, is to have the 
stability and safe limits of loading with various 
kinds of cargo determined before she ever goes to 
sea. Upon ihe information so obtained tabular 
instructions should be framed for the guidance 
of those responsible for the loading of the ship. 
Such instructions should include particulars of 
the empty spaces to be left in the 'tween decks 
and the weight of ballast to be carried for 
different classes of cargo to be shipped. These 
calculations would have to be made in respect 
of every single vessel. Such calculations are 
made already by the Board of Trade in respect 
to the carriage of passengers, and if they can do 
that in the case of passengers they can also do 
it as regards cargo or ballast. A light load line 
properly computed and painted on the side of 
the ship would, I believe, undoubtedly assist the 
Board of Trade surveyor in determining whether 
the vessel was sufficiently ballasted or not. I am 
convinced that shipowners do not intentionally 
send their ships to sea in a dangerous condition. 
That ships do go to sea insufficiently ballasted is 
generally because the owner who orders them to 
go does not know his ship, and often he has 
to exercise the most strict economy in order to pre- 
vent financial ruin. To illustrate that, I know 16 
sailing ships now belonging to one company upon 
the sea, every one of them losing more money 
on the voyage home than she would if she was 
laid up in docks doing nothing. So, in a case 
like that where economy must be exercised the 
shipowner does not fail to instruct his master to 
exercise the strictest economj', and the masters 
in their turn, feeling that their employment de- 
pends upon nothing so much as the success with 
which they carry out their owner's orders, do not 
hesitate to exercise that economy which is de- 
manded of them, and being men who do not 
know what it is to fear, or risk responsibility, 




16 March 1903.] 

The Most Hon. The M.vrquess of Grail^m. 


Chairman continued. 

thev are loth to mention it although they know 
full well the danger in which they sail their 
ships. It is because of this that vessels often go 
to sea insufficiently ballasted ; but whenever a 
disaster happens investigation is seldom made as 
to whether the ship sailed in ballast by the 
owner's order or by the master's own initiative. 
I believe that an inquiry as to whether a ship 
sailed in ballast by the owner's order or by 
the master's initiative, should be made in all 
Courts of Inquiry into shipping disasters. 
Shipowners with regard to the proposed legisla- 
tion for a light load line generally put forward 
the argument that any legislation of the kind 
would unfairly handicap tnem in competition 
with foreign shipping not subject to such regula- 
tions : but there is an article Article 462 of the 
Merchant Shipping Act,1894^which provides for 

Chairman continued. 

the detention of foreign ships in British ports 
if they are considered unsafe by reason of over- 
loading or improper loading. Foreign ships 
have been detained frequently in British ports 
because they were overladen ; but I do not know 
of any case in which a foreign ship was detained 
for being too lightly laden and that must come 
under the head of improper loading if she goes 
to sea insufficiently ballasted. Section 462 
might perhaps be amended to read; that, all 
ships should comply with the British regula- 
tions in British ports whether they be of foreign 
nationality or not. Then I believe such legisla- 
tion .should include a light load line to ensure 
that all shipping going to sea is manageable, 
because if the ships are unmanageable they are 
not only a source of danger to themselves but 
a danger to every other ship they meet with. 

Mr. W. a. WILLIAMS is called in ; and Examined, as follows ; 


2061. Will you explain your position ? I am 
an underwriter of many years' standing and I 
am a member of the Committee of the Liverpool 
Underwriters' Association, and was Chairman 
until last January when my term of office 

2062. I suppose that is a very large Associa- 
tion, is it not ? Very large indeed ; it has a con- 
siderable number of members ; it represents the 
Underwriters of Liverpool and its ramifications, 
of course, extend all over the world ; we have 
agents in all tho foreign ports. I am also a 
member of the Committee of Lloyds' Register 
Classification Society, and of course I have had 
an oppertunity of judging as to the proper 
balliistmg of ships. 

20(;.S. Will you just say what you wish to 
bring before us ? I suppose I had better in the 
first instance just deal very shortly with the 

fapers which I have placed in your hands ; but 
should like to say at the outset that this is a 
matter which does not concern underwriters as 
underwriters. We do not sk for or seek any 
legislation on the subject at all. We have come 
to the conclusion (and we have publicly ex- 
pressed it) that ships have been sent to 
sea under-ballasted and that legislation upon 
the subject is nece.ssary, but we want to be 
verj' careful to say that we do not con- 
sider it necessaiy in the interest of under- 
writers. The underwriters can protect them- 
selves. Their rates of premium are based 
upon lo.sses. If those losses increase from 
any cause, of course, the rates of premium 
increase ; on the other hand, if losses diminish, 
either by legislation or otherwise, rates of 
premium diminish ; so that it Is not a matter of 
pecuniary interest to underwriters that legisla- 
tion of this kiud should be adopted, because 
they can take care of themselves. At the same 
time they consider that, as a matter of puulic 
policy, it is desirable. Their opinion has been 
asked and they feel bound to say that ; although 
I wish to add that it is with entirely disin- 
terested motives. Now the statistics which I 
placed in your hands show that in ihe six years 

Chair'inan continued. 

from 1897 to 1902 inclusive there were casualties 
to ships, sailing vessels, 1,.535, steam vessels, 
4,308. Now, I may say that these statistics are 
compiled from the Board of Trade returns, and 
I am sure, will be corroborated by the Board of 
Trade. This is a record of all the casualties of 
every kind of vessels in ballast, trifling and 
otherwise. There were of sailing vessels, 1,535, 
steam- vessels 4,308. Of these 1,535 sailing 
vessels 152 were totally lost, involving a loss of 
491 lives; of the 4,308 steam vessels 119 were 
totally lost, involving a loss of 189 lives. Now, 
I do not mean to say (tar from it) that all these 
casualties arise from insufficient ballast, but I do 
say that a great many of them do. It accords 
with my experience as an underwriter, and I give 
these statistics, of course, for what they are 
worth. I am quite aware that statistics, as a 
rule, are very often misleading, it not supported 
by experience, but I must say they bear 
out my experience as an underwriter for it is a 
matter of notoriety among underwriters that 
vessels are sent to sea in an under- ballasted con- 
dition. It is a well-known fact. Now of that 
number it is impossible to say how many were 
cases of insufficient or improper ballasting ; but 
to give a sample of them there were 16 cases in 
which Board of Trade Inquiries took place. In 
those 16 cases the Board of Trade found, as you 
will see by the return I have placed in your 
hands, that 11 were insufficiently ballasted (^the 
loss arose from insufficient ballastingj and five 
through shifting. Now of course, that may 
appear to be a small number but as I say it is 
simply a sample, a sample which corroborates 
the experience of unvlerwritcrs, and I do not 
know that can be considered altogether as a 
question of proportion, because if it can be shown 
tnat a certain number of losses happen that can 
be prevented by legislation, well then there is a 
case for legislation apart altogether from the 
question as to what proportion of the vessels lost 
ill ballast are compared with those that are fully 
loaded and properly loaded. I have also placed 
in your hands a record of casualties to sailing 
vessels in ballast, and this of considerable impor- 
Q taiice 



16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Williams. 


Chairman continued. 

tance. It gives a large number of sailing vessels 
that have sustained casualties while in ballast 
and you will see there a list of 16 missing ships. 

Lord Wolvertoii 

2064. What year ? The missing ships are 
from 1896 to 1902, there are 16 mi-ssing vessels 
involving a loss of 480 lives The Board of 
Trade did not hold inquiries into all of those, 
but they held inquiries in 11 of the cases, and of 
those 1 1 they found that nine were insufficiently 
or improperlv ballasted; and the point with 
regard to sailing vessels that I desire to bring 
out most prominently is this that I think it is 
much more a case of improper ballasting than of 
insufficient ballasting; it is a case of shifting, 
and it is highly necessary that if a light load 
line is imposed restrictions should also be placed 
upon the character of the loading that is to say, 
that the ballast shall be properly secured from 


2065. How would you do that, if the light load 
line would not do it ? By incorporating in your 
Liglit Load Line Bill a provision that, in all ves- 
sels taking ballast, the ballast shall be properly 
secured from shifting. 

Lord Brassey. 

2066. By bulkheads, or whatever it is ? Yes, 
by shifting boards. 


2067. Who would have to decide whether it 
was sufficiently divided, and so on ? It would be 
subject to survey, I suppose. The Board of 
Trade Surveyors could prescribe the manner in 
which it should be secured from shifting. It 
ought to be provided that it is secured fi"om 
shifting to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade 
Surveyors ; and you mil see the importance of 
that with regard to steamers also, because if, as 
I expect willbe found, the water ballast is not 
sufficient if the ballast of the steamer is not 
sufficient it wiU be necessary, in the case of the 
steamer, to take on board other ballast, ad- 
ditional ballast and the remedy might be worse 
than the disease if you insisted upon their taking 
sufficient ballast without at the same time in- 
sisting upon its being properly secured from 
shifting. Of course in the case of vessels con- 
structed with such a load line so imposed it is 
very probable that it would be met by con- 
structing cargo tanks which could be used for 
either water ballast or cargo ; but in the case of 
vessels constructed up to the present time it 
would be necessary probably that extra ballast 
should be taken oh board ; and therefore it is 
necessary that that should be properly secured 
from shifting. My committee desire to make a 
very strong point of that as to the necessity of 
securing the balhist from shifting because it 
has been a potent cause of loss of life in the case 
of sailing vessels. Those sailing vessels involved 
the loss of 480 lives and the bulk of those would 
have been probably saved if the ballast had been 
properly secured irom shifting. 

Lord Brassey. 
2068. There is another matter, the matter of 
rules ; there are such in the case of grain cargoas, 
are there not ? There are rules in oiiicrent ports 

Lord Braaaey continued 

with regard to the shifting of grain cargoes, but 
no rules, so far as I am aware, with regard to the 
shifting of ballast. Then another point that we 
should like to make is this that whatever rules 
are provided, either by way of a load line or to 
secure ballast from shifting they should be 
equally applied to foreign snips. We consider 
that that is necessary because it imposes a very 
unjust burden, we are of opinion, upon Englisn 
ships, that they are bound to conform to these 
Board of Trade regulations while foreign ships 
are allowed to go scot free ; and I believe that if 
it was provided (a.s it might well be provided 
that this legislation should apply equally to 
foreign ships, the opposition of shipowners 
would be entirely disarmed. Shipowners are 
afraid that if the case is made out for a light 
load line it will be dealt with exactly in the same 
way as the deep load line has been dealt with 
and made to apply only to English ships. That, 
as they point out very properly, is a great in- 
justice, and we are strongly convinced that it is, 
and that any remedy that is applied would be 
only a partial remedy if applied to British ships 
and. not to foreign ships. In addition to that it 
would be a great injustice to British ships and 
impose great restrictions upon them in com- 
petition with foreigners. 


2069. I suppose that they felt this injustice with 
regard to the deep load line ? Thev did feel it. 

2073. It is a good many years since the deep 
load line has been the law, and they have never 
been able to bring the Government to deal with 
it. There must be considerabie difficulty in 
applying it to foreign ships ? I do not know 
that there are considerable difficulties in apply- 
ing it to foreign shids at least that there are 
such difficulties as might not be overcome. In 
Mr. Howell's evidence before the Subsidies Com- 
mittee he remarked that the tendency to over- 
load the foreign vessels was an increasing 
tendency, and tha* the tendency to overload 
British ships was a diminishing tenflency, and 
that they stopped more foreign vessels than they 
did English vessels. 'I think that is rather a 
tribute to the effect of the deep load line. The 
deep load line has reducrd overloading in the 
case of British vessels, but it has allowed foreign 
vessels to overload with impunity. 

2071. There is a section in the Act which en- 
ables the Board of Trade to deal with overladen 
foreign ships ? Quite so ; under that the Board 
of Trade can deal with them. 

2072. And they do ? They do to some extent, 
but this is what I want to point out. It is a 
very difficult matter for the Board of Trade Sur- 
veyor to deal with either an overloaded ship 
or an underloaded ship ; and especially an 
underloaded ship ; it is very difficult for him 
by a superficial survey to decide whether a 
vessel is underloaded or overloaded, and 
especially in the case of underloading. In 
addition to that, of course, he incurs a serious 
responsibility if he stops a ship and it is proved 
that he has not got any proper case. What is 
wanted is an automatic rule such as you have in 
the case of the deep load line you want to 
have that with the light load line an automatic 
line which would guide the surveyors and enable 




16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Williams. 


Chairman continued. 

them to stop the ship by the appearance of the 

2073. Would there be any more difficulty 
with the light load line than with the deep load 
line in ascertaining where it should be ? I 
should think it would be more difficult to say 
from a superficial survey where the light load 
line should be than the deep load line. 

2074. You do not think that is an insuperable 
difficulty at all ? I do not know that it is an 
insuperable difficulty at all. 

2075. I do not want to interrupt your 
evidence ; I will ask you a question or two when 
you have done? I was just going to say this 
further about the Board of Trade. The feoard 
of Trade have confessed themselves unable to 
cope with this. Mr. Howell before the Com- 
mittee on Subsidies, that has just reported, said 
it would take an army of surveyors to stop every 
overloaded ship ; a great many of them must 

fat away. In addition to that, for the reasons I 
ave given, even if they had that army of sur- 
veyors it would be very difficult for them to stop 
every ship that was under-ballasted, besides 
placing a very difficult and invidious task upon 

2076. Then you represent a Committee ol 
underwriters ? The Committee of the Liverpool 
Underwriters' Association, yes. 

2077. You are in favour of having a light load 
line, are you ? We are ; not in our own interest, 
as I have explained, but as a matter of public 
policy we consider it would be desirable. 

2078. Could you do more by the rules you 
make and the regulations and conditions you 
impose on shipowners when they come to in- 
sure ? Well, I have heard tliat suggested but a 
more Utopian idea I do not think 1 have ever 
heard proposed. In the first place I do not 
think that it is incumbent upon under- 
writers to undertake Police duties; in the 
second place apart altogether from that 
I do not see how they could properly do it. 
It would require collective action such as they 
could not possibly take. Underwriters, like 
most business men, are fettered in their freedom 
of action by competition, jind even if they were 
disposed to impose regulations they would be 
prevented from doing so by the fact of the 
extensive competition which goes or in their 
business as in all others; and, besides, what 
could they do ? The underwriter might put a 
warranty clause in his policy : " Warranted that 
the vessel shall be properly ballasted." That 
would simply mean warranted that the vessel 
is seaworthy. If the vessel is properly ballasted 
the vessel is seaworthy. Xow there is an implied 
warranty of seaworthiness in all voyage policies, 
and even in a time policy a loss from unseaworth- 
iness is not recoverable so you get no further, and 
you leave the question entirely untouched as to 
what is proper ballasting. The underwriter 
says, the vessel shall be properly ballasted. 
You have to have someone to decide that it is 
properly ballasted ? That is the very point. 

Lord Shand. 

2079. It has been suggested that the under- 
writer might in his p<^licy provide that the shaft 
of the propeller shall be immersed to a certain 
extent .' - Yes, of course. 


Lord Shand continued. 

2080. If the underwriter chose to do that he 
would secure himself against underloading. I 
merely mention that as a suggestion that has 
been put forward ? I do not think that would 
secure him ; besides you wonld have to get the 
collective action of the whole body of under- 
writers to put such a warranty in the policj . 


2081. Do you var}- at all the premiums on 
different ships ? What we do is this : A risk is 
proposed to us on a vessel in ballast ; over and 
over again have I stipulated myself for a 
quantity of ballast ; the underwriter does that to 
protect himself on the occasion of that particular 
risk, and if he finds that he cannot get the 
quantity of ballast he thinks necessary he lets 
the risk pass him he declines the risk ; and I 
have been struck with this with the ignorance 
(I do not use the term in an offensive sense at 
all) of shipowners as to the conditions of the 
loading of their vessels. If the vessel is to load 
at a foreign port you ask what quantity of 
ballast she is going to take ; they say : " Oh, the 
captain will put the proper amount of ballast in, 
and it is very very difficult to ascertain ; there- 
fore we cannot protect ourselves even by putting 
a warranty in a policy in such a case. All we 
can do if we are not satisfied from the character 
of the owner that lie is likely to send his vessel 
to sea in sufficient ballast, is that we must 
decline the risk. 

2082. Then you do not think any stricter con- 
ditions by underwriters would do. You know it 
has been suggested ? It is absolutely imprac- 
ticable from my experience. First of all, as I 
say, you would have to get collective action, so 
that every underwriter shall adopt that clause, 
and secondly you have to decide what is proper 

2083. Notwithstanding the change in the 
rules as to the shafts, which is the consequence 
of a Committee that sat for Lloyds', I think ? 
Quite so. I Am on the Committee of Lloyds' 
Register and I know of these rules that were 
introduced a year or two ago. There was an 
enormous number of shaft breakages in vessels 
crossing the Atlantic arising largely from crossing 
the Atlantic in ballast, and Lloyds then increaseci 
the size of the shafts.. 

2084. Have you followed suit ? How do you 
mean have I followed suit ? 

2085. I mean you arc different underwriters ; 
and you are one of Lloyds ? You must not con- 
found " Lloyds Register " with " Lloyds ; " the 
one is an Underwriting Association ; the other is 
Lloyds Register a classification association. 

2086. Which issues Lloyds' rules ? Lloyds' 
Register for the classification of ships. They 
have increased the strength of shafts since then 
no doubt partly from that, and, I daresay, 
partly from the fact that owners are more alive 
to the danger now there has been a diminu- 

2087. Could not the same thing be applied in 
other respects to ensure the greater safety of 
ships in ballast ? In what way ? 

2088. The same way as the regulation of the 
shaft ; you might extend it to other things ? 
That was simply a question of strengthening the 
shaft ; it was not a question of securing a larger 

Q 2 immersion 



16 March 1903.J 



Lord Wolverton continued. 

immersion, but of imparting greater strength to 
the shaft. It is not entirely a question of shaft 

2089. You do not think the same sort of thing 
could be done in any other respect ? I do not 
think it could be arrived at by any stipulations 
by undor%vriters. 

2090. Have you anything further you want to 
say ? I do not think I have anythmg further. 
I am prepared to answer any further questions. 

Lord WdveHon. 

2091. Of course, as an underwriter, you are 
very well acquainted with the state of trade, are 
not you, now at the present time ? Yes. 

2092. \Vo have been told by a great many 
witnesses that the trade of the particular vessels 
which we are dealing with, the tramps, is not 

ng w 
Id sa 

very good ? I should say never worse. 

2093. And do you think that they will bo able 
to stand these new regulations which are sought 
to be put on them if you advocate the light load 
line ' I think so. In the first place if the 
regulations are necessary in themselves, I 
do not think it would be an argument against 
them to say that pecuniary considerations 
on the part of the shipowner should prevent 
them ; but with regard to pecuniary considera- 
tions it must be borne in mind that the vicissi- 
tudes of the sliipping business are very great, 
and in very prosperous years you have immense 
prosperity ; then you have a turn and you got 
bad times. It is not many year? ago not more 
than two or three that shipping nad an im- 
mensely prosperous time enormous amounts 
wen; made and it is only natural to suppose 
that you would have a revolution and get upon a 
bad time; so that you must take the average of 
them all, and I say, if you take the average, 
there is no reason whatever why English ship- 
owners should not be able to bear the burden, 
more especially if you apply the same -thing to 
foreigners ; that is where the pinch comes. The 
pinch comes that they are nundred in their 
competition with foreigners, because foreigners 
are allowed to escape Board of Trade regulations 
which the British shipowner has to comply 

2094. I suppose you were not in the room 
when Mr. Howell was giving his evidence ? 
Only for a few minutes. 

209.J. You did not hear his statistics dealing 
with this subject, I suppose ? I did not. 

209(5. You did not hear that the loss 
of life and the loss of proper. y was very very 
small ? Well, I think the statistics I have put 
in are Board of frade statistics showing that 
there has been a serious loss of life well, not 
serious. There have been, how many ? 700 
lives have been lost in six years. Of course I do 
not .say those would all have been prevented by 
a light load hue and the proper securing of the 
ballast, but a great many of them would. Those 
missing sailing ships would probably. 

2097. I must taKc you through these figures 
then. You .sav there has been how much loss 
of life ?- Four nundred and ninety-one on sailing 
vessels and 1S9 in steam. 

2098. During the last six years ; why do you 
take that period ? It is a mere chance. We 
-tarted with five years. We thought five vears 

Chairman . continued. 

would be suflScient. We only got the Board of 
Trade Returns up to June twelve months ago, 
and we made them up for' five yearss. Then 
when lately we got the later returns from the 
Board of Trade up to June last year, we added 
that and made the six years. 

2099. Decreasing the loss ? The tendency is 
apparently to decrease. 

2099*. I think Mr. Howell admitted that the 
loss of life was so much heavier in sailing ships ; 
is that your experience ? That is so undoubtedly, 
arising from improper ballasting. 

2100. Improper? Quite so. 

2101. Not anything that would be affected by 
the light load line ? Not by the light load line 
pure and simple; hut what we advocate in conjunc- 
tion with the light load line is the proper secur- 
ing of ballast. It would become an important 
question if steamers had to add to their water 
ballast. You have only to look through Lloyds 
Register to see that the water-ballast capacity is 
very much short of the opinion of experts as to 
the quantity necessary to secure safety. Experts 
have said that vessels ought to take one third of 
their dead weight capacity. Well, that of course 
is for sailing vessels. I suppose in the case of 
steamers it would not be so much, but if you 
look at the case of steamers you will find there 
is nothing approaching one third You have 
only to take any page of Lloyds book and you 
will see that the water ballast capacity is very 
very far short of a third. I suppose (I am 
speaking rather off the book) it is perhaps a 
sixth of the dead weight capacity. 

2102. I wonder if for our information you 
could give us the case of an ordinary ship of 
3000 tons burden ; suppose that this Committee 
were to recommend a light load line, [I want 
to give you very broad figures]- -what would be 
the extra expense to the o^vncr of that ship to 
confoim to the proposition. I will take u very 
ordinary vessel now. What would be the extra 
expense he would have to pay by this ? That I 
could not say. 

2103. You could not not give any idea ? No. 
I could not give any idea -That' is purely a 
shipowner's question. 

2104. You admit that there would he a 
balance that is what you suggest ?^Quite so ; 
beyond what they bear at present. The argu- 
ment is that they are at present insufficiently 

Lord Shand. 

2105. When ships are put upon Lloyds' 
Register is the Register in such a condition 
that it enables those who are insuring vessels, 
or the insurance companies, to fix their premiums? 
It is. They give particulars of the build, age, 
and so on, and also the class 100 Al. 

2106. And according to that Register if it is 
letter A, letter B, letter C, you charge your 
premiums ? We charge our premiums ; as a 
matter of fact, all vessels are called "classed 
100 Al " as long as they are kept up efficiently, 
all iron and steel ships.' 

2107. I do not quite follow your answer. It 
has been suggested by a Board of Trade repre- 
sentative to-day that the insurance companies 
might make a rule that would do all that is 
wanted if they provided that the propeller 
should be immersed to a certain extent before 




16 March 1903.] 

Mt. Williams. 


Lord Shand continued. 

going to sea, that that would secure all the 
advantages of the light load line ? I am sure 
it is utterly impracticable, first of all, to get such 
a clause in policies, and, secondly, if got in, I do 
not think it would be effective. 

2108. If the insurance companies were not in 
such keen competition it could be done, I 
suppose ? ^I do not think even then it would 
secure the object. 

2109. A\Tiy ? Simply because the immersion 
of the shaft is not all that is required. The 
simple immersion of the shaft would not be all 
that is required. 

2110. The immersion of the shaft would 
obviate a great many of the evils now complained 
of would It not ? i do not know that it would. 

2111. r think you read what the last witness 
explained very fully the effect, when there was 
not a proner immersion, on the shaft ? Yes, 
the propeller might be immersed and the vessel 
very much down bv the stern and up in the bow. 

2112. That is what you call " trim" ? Oat of 
trim. I mean to .say that the innnersion of the 
sLaft is not all that is required. It would re- 
quire more than that. 

2113. How would you propose that this light 
load line should be fixed ? You have not told us 
how tliat is to be done ? Yes, I ought to have 
done that. 

2114. How would you propose that this light 
load line should be fixed in different classes of 
vessels ? Of course I have been rather de- 
pending upon being asked questions upon these 

211.5. You are getting that advantage now ? 
Yes. What we consider is this, that the .same 
method of procedure should be adopted as was 
adopted in tne case of the deep load line that 
this question should be referred to experts of 
the various cla.ssification .societies and that 
they should provide a scheme for fixing a load 
line applicable to the different kinds of vessels. 
There are difficulties no doubt in providing a 
load line which will apply fairly to all the diffe- 
rent classes of vessels; out there were similar 
difficulties in the case of the deep load line and 
the scientific advi.sors of Lloyd.s' Regi.ster and 
others were able to overcome those difficulties 
and I am quite confident they would be able to 
overcome the difficulties of the light load line. 

2116. In short that comes to this, apparently, 
that so far as this Committee is concerned they 
could not lay down a light load line ? Oh, 
certainly not. 

2117. In respect of the position it is to occupy ? 

2118. They could merely say that a light load 
line was desirable and required ? Exactly. 

2119. And have it referred in some way to 
some voluntary association ? To the scientific 
experts who fixed the scale of rules for the deep 
load line. 

Lord Brasaey. 

2120. Do I take it from you that the great 
body of underwriters of Liverpool concur in 
your opinion ? They do. I am deputed to 
express the opinions I have expressed to-day, 
but I may say also that I know the feeling 
among London underwriters is that ships are 
sent to sea insufficiently ballasted The doubt 

Lord jBras.<?y continued, 
they have, [ believe, as to legislation is whether, 
first of all, it is a proper thing for underwriters 
to advocate it, because, as I have saia, it is not 
necessary in their own interests ; and. secondly, 
whether it is not imposing an improper burden 
upon English shipo\vners. We in Liverpool feel 
the same thing with regard to that, but we say 
that would be met if it was made applicable to 
foreign ships equally with British ships. 

Lord Muslcerry. 

2121. I would just Hke to ask one thing. 
Living in Liverpool as you do you have been 
many times across to the States ? I have. 

2122. I have been informed I do not know 
whether it is absolutely true that all our liners 
(as I may call them, I think) sailing from 
American ports back to this country have to 
submit to the American Board of 'Irado Rules 
and American survey ^all the passenger 
liners asreg.u-ds their lifo-saving appliances? 
I believe so. 

2123. And I believe those are .stricter than 
ours in some respects ? I cannot say positively 
as to that. 

2124. At all events, they are not allowed to 
proceed to sea, unless they have complied with 
the rules of the United States ? Yes, so I 

2125. The same thing applies, I believe, in the 
Pacific ports ? In the Pacific ports, you mean, 
of the United States ? 

2126. Yes ? Yes, I think so. There is one 
point, perhap.s, I ou^ht to have referred to, as to 
the difficulty of differentiating m the load line. 
Of course, it would be necos.sary to impose a 
different load line in summer and winter, but I do 
not think that it should go beyond that. I do not 
think the length of the voyage should affect the 
case, because a gi-eat many of the most serious 
casualties have happened in vessels making 
coasting voyages. I mean in the case of sea- 
going vessels making coasting voyages. The 
tendency is, if it is short voyage, to send the 
vessel to sea under-ballasted, tecause, of course, 
the chance of meeting with bad weather is less 
in a short voyage than a long one. I do not 
think there should be any difference made with 
regard to the length of voyage. I beheve ship- 
owners have macle a poir.t of that to make a 
vessel say, coming from Dublin to Liverpool or 
London to Liverpool carry the same quantity ol 
ballast as a vessel going round the Horn. Well 
of course there is not the same certainty tf 
meeting bad weather, but I do not think any 
shipowner is justified in running the, because 
it is a short voyage, of going to sea in an unsea- 
worthy condition, because the chances of en- 
countering a gale are small. 

2127. Sa_y' for instance from Liverpool to 
Cardiff or Liverpool to Glasgow ? Yes, those arc 
the voyages I am refereing to. 

2128. But I suppose just for a very short dis- 
tance of 10 or 20 miles, say from Cardiff' to Ban'v 
or from Cardiff" to Swansea ? If it is so ver\' 
bhort as that, as to reduce it to almost a certainty, 
that alters the case somewhat. 


2129. Have you anything more to say ? 
Perhaps I might just bring to your notice here 




16 March 1903.] 

Mr. Williams. 


Cluiirman continued. 

somothiny; that has beon put in my hands, 
because I think it has ratnur an important 
bearing on the case. These are " recommenda- 
tions to ship masters approved and adopted by 
the Marino Mutual Insurance Associations of the 
United Kingdom." " These have beon drawn up 
by a Committee of experienced .shipowners, ship 
masters and maruio insurance experts and have 
been adopted at a meeting of shipowners repre- 
senting sailing ship tonnage to the value of 
between eight ana ten millions Sterling." 
Now these are verj' admirable Rules. I 
should like to read a very short extract 
irom them, because it is evidence of the ship- 
owners themselves ; and I am aware of this fact 
too, that shijwwners are in the habit of issuing 
to their masters very good sailing directions and 
ndes as to the loading of their ships, and if these 
were all faithfully and properly carried out, I 
lielieve we should hear less of either over-loading 
or under-loading. Of course the Captain has 
these rules in his pocket, but he believes that 
economy is of more importance than safety. 
The ships are always, or generally, we]l insured, 
and therefore he is inclined to run the risk for 
the sake of ingratiating himself with his owners 
and running his vessel on economical lines. 

2130. What is the date of these rules ? The 
book was published in 1899. What I want to 
read from now is an addition published in 1901, 
and you will see these are the recommendations 
of shipowners and others representing eight or 
ten millions sterling : " Since the issue of the 
above " that is ihe book of 1899) " the continued 
serious and deplorable loss of life and property 
on ballast passages makes it desirable to again 
urge upon shipmasters the necessity of exercising 
special care and precaution in determining the 
quantity of ballast to be taken on board their 
vessels and the efficient securing of the same 
even when about to make the shortest passage 
and at all seasons of the year." Then No. 4 
rule is : " As a general rule, however, carefully 
collected statistics seem to prove that the average 
modern vessel will require an immersion of about 
()0 per cent., in some cases more, of her draught 
when fully laden to her freeboard mark, and of 
about, in some cases more, one-third the quantitj- 
of her full deadweight capacity to efficiently 
ballast her for sailing." Well now, as a matter 
of practice, vessels do not take a third of their 
deadweight capacity in my experience, steamers 
I should 8*y never; but of course, this was 
framed for sailing vessels and probably a some- 
what diminished ratio would be necessary for 
steamers. Then Rule 7 says : " In order to 
secure the ballast against shifting a free use of 
shifting boards is imperative, and special care 
and attention should be given to this matter in 
the case of ballast of a snifty or even doubtful 
nature." Of course, there are other rules ; I just 

Chairman continued. 

read those, and I put this fdtward to show that, 
that is the opinion of shipowners themselves, 
and if these nad legislative sanction probably 
you would not want the light load line or the 
deep load line. 

Lord Muakerry. 

2131. What guide would you have then to see 
that the master had carried out his instructions. 
You must have some outward and visible sign ? 
Quite so. What I .say is this : If legislative 
sanction could be given to these (I do not .say it 
could be in this form), it would meet the case. 
The only way to do it by the legislature is to 
have a deep load line and a light load line. Then 
you have a thing that will work automatically. 


2132. But as these .rules exist there are cases 
still happening of ships being unmanageable for 
want of sufficient ballast ? Quite so. These 
rules exist but those rules are not conformed to 

2133. Why do you think they are not eon- 
formed to ? Because the desire for economy 
may be greater than the desire for safety. 

Lord Inverdyde. 

2134. I think it was brought out in many 
cases where vessels were said to be under-bal- 
lasted that it was a very great disadvantage 
to the owner by loss of time on the voyage and 
demurrage and that sort of thing ? I .shomd say 
certainly it would bo to the interest of ship- 
owners in many ways to properly ballast thoir 

2135. Why do they not encourage their 
masters to do it then ? Because of the expense 
I think of the extra ballast. Then you see the 
risk of loss is not a severe risk to the owner 
because he is covered by insurance. 

2136. One must contemplate that the loss to 
the owner would be very large if the voj'age 
occupied many days instead of nours ? I should 
think so the longer the voyage the gi"'eater the 
loss would be, but I do not suppose that is 
so serious a matter as the extra cost of ballast ; 
evidently they do not think so ; anyhow they 
run that risk. 

Lord Shand. 

2137. Is it then your opinion that the light 
load line is to be the onl}- mode in which to 
minimise this mischief ? 1 think so the light 
load line accompanied with regulations to pre- 
vent shifting and also with conditions making 
it applicable to British and Foreign ships alike 
frequenting British waters. 

2138. And some regulation in regard to bal- 
lasting general regulations, or special regula- 
tions, in regard to tlie mode of ballasting, could 
not be done so as to bring about the same result, 
you think ? You could not do it ; they would be 
too varied in character. 

The Witness is directed to withdraw. 



16 March 1903. 

Captain DAVID MILLS, is called in ; and, Examined as follows : 


2139. Are you a ship master ? Yes. 

2140. Have you had a long experience at sea ? 
I have been 40 years at sea 20 years in sail, 
20 years in steam ; I hold a masters' certificate, 
and have been 17 years in command. 

2141. What are you doing now ? I am col- 
lector in Liverpool, and district, for the Ship- 
wrecked Mariners' Society. 

2142. Well, what have you to say on this sub- 
ject of underballasted ships ? I have got to say 
that, in my experience, gomg round amongst the 
shipping which I do amongst all the masters 
ana officers there and it comes to a good many 
hundreds in Liverpool they are all of opmion 
that this Light Load Line Bill is required ; and, 
of course, I can give my o's-n experience in some 
ships where I have nearly lost the number of my 
mess, but Providence proved it otherwise, and I 
got safely out of it. In the S.S. " Rutherglen," 
we were going eight hours full speed astern off 
the Lizard. We lay broadside on we could do 
nothing with her she was unmanageable we 
had three red lights burning, hanging about the 
bridge just as a warning to other vessels who 
were passing us bound up Channel. We drifted 
inside the Lizard with her head inshore, and 
in smooth water she was close in, and I could 
have put a hold ladder from her bows on to 
the beach. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

2143. When did you say this was ? This was 
24th February, 1890. 


2144. Was she a ship in balla-st ? She was a 
ship in ballast from Antwerp bound round to 
Barry, Cardiff. 

2145. And did you consider she had not 
sufficient ballast when she started ? Well, I was 
chief officer on her. 

2146. You were chief officer ? Yes. 

2147. Not the master ? No, I was six years 
chief officer on that same ship. We got into 
Falmouth, anchored and tried it three times and 
could not manage it, and had to come back and 
take shelter underneath Falmouth. 

2148. Was the master aware she had not 
sufficient ballast ? The master was like a good 
manv more. He was told by the owners and 
overlooker that he had enough and sufficient 
with water ballast ; and the weather was not bad 
when we left and we went on and met these 
gales of wind and could not do anything with 
them the ship became unmanageable with 
them we could do nothing with the ship. There 
were dozens of others in the .same plight as 
ourselves. Every voyage I have gone round 
these coasts in the winter, dozens I have met, 
and they could do nothing with them. 

2149. With insufficient ballast ? Yes ; the 
propellers were not enough immersed, and the 
ships were in bad trim, being too much by the 
stem. They have no keel ; one half of them ; 

Chairman continued. 

they are as flat as that table in the bottom, and 
they just drift to leeward. There is no hold of 
the water whatsoever. I have another case 
here : I was four hours unmanageable with her, 
another steamer, the " Knight of St. John " on 
the 24th January, 1886. We could do nothing 
with her for four hours. 

2150. 1886 ? Yes. 24th January 1886, could 
do nothing with her. 

2151. Do these ships behave well in bad 
weather when properly loaded ? Deeply loaded 
you mean. 

2152. Yes ? Oh, yes, they behave all right 
when deep loaded. 

2153. You were not in a storm when loaded ? 
Yes. The last ship I was in, going six years, 
was the " Drummond." I cannot say much 
about her only that in ballast she got unmanage- 
able with me in every gale of wind ; we got into 
a norther for 24 hours off the River Plate and 
the Gulf of Mexico. We could do nothing with 
her for 24 hours until the norther would 
take off, iust lying in the trough, she wallowed 
about rolling from rail to rail. 

2154. When you were in ballast ? In ballast. 
This " Rutherglen " I have another instance of 
a time when we left Liverpool for Burry; she 
was on the passage round, and we were six hours 
going full speed astern to get her under the lee 
of Holyhead ; we were trying to get her into 
Holyhead ; we could do nothing with her ; she 
was rolling from rail to rail filling and flooding 
the decks with water, all for the want of ballast. 

2155. You were responsible for that as master ? 
We thought we had sufficient; if it had 
stopped smooth water a little longer we would 
have got round all right. 

2516. You are aware that it is not only for 
smooth water ; and you cannot always command 
smooth water ? No, but I am not supposed to 
take any more when there is an overlooker from 
the shipowner and he thinks that sufficient. 

2157. Do you like to go to sea even though it 
is calm where, if you meet with bad weather, the 
ship will not be manageable ? If I did not go 
there are hundreds of others who will go ; we 
cannot remedy it. 

2158. WeU, have you anything else to say ? 
That is all my experience as regards these 
steamers. The only thing I say is that we 
require a light load line. I think it is as much 
required as the deep load line. The deep load 
line has been a very good thing for the sailor- 
very good never was better and I think the 
light load lino is required more or as much, at 
a,ny rate as the deep load line, and that is the 
opinion of most of the masters and officers about 

2159. You do not think it would be more 
difficult to draw the light load lino than it was to 
draw the deep load line ? Well yes, perhaps so, 
but that would need to be left to experts, ship 
builders and others naval architects. 

2160. Would 


l(i Mitrcli 19J.3.] Captain D. Miixs. [Continued. 

Chairman continued. Chairman continued. 

2160. Would it handicap the shipowners very would a little ; but think that it should apply to 
much in the keen competitiou which is said tio foreign ships as well as British on account of 
exist with foreign ships ? There is no doubt it the foreign competition. 

The Witness is directed to withdraw. 
Ordered, Th&t this Committee be adjourned to Tuesday, 24th March, at Twelve o'clock. 



Die Martis, 24^ Martii 1903. 


Earl Spencer. 
Viscount Ridley. 


Lord Brassey. 
Lord Shand.] 
Lord Inverclyde. 

The Earl SPENCER in the Chair. 

Sir JAMES LYLE MACKAY, g.c.m.g., k.c.i.e., is called in ; and Examined, as follows : 


216L Perhaps, Sir James, you will kindly 
tell the Committe what position you hold in 
regard to shipping, and so on ? I am President 
of the Chamber of Shipping of the United King- 
dom for the present year, an Institution to which 
are affiliated 28 Shipowners' Associations in the 
ports of Liverpool, London, Glasgow, Newcastle, 
Sunderland, Hull, the Hartlepools, CurdifT, 
Belfast, Leith, Newport, and Swansea. Out of 
15,000,000 tons gross of British vessels now on 
the Register the Chamber of Shipping may 
fairly claim to represent 13,000,000 ton.s. The 
remaining 2,000,000 tons which the Chamber 
does not directly represent are almost entirely 
made up of the vessels of the Peninsular and 
Oriental Steam Navigation Company and the 
large passenger liners which trade between 
Liverpool and New York. 

2162. Are you also a shipowner of some 
experience ? Yes ; I am a director of the 
British India Steam Navigation Company, with 
which I have been connected for about 30 years, 
and am well acquainted with the practical 
management and navigation of steamships, both 
loaded and in ballast. My firm of McKinnon, 
McKenzie & Co. are the managing agents of the 
British India Company, which o^vns a fleet of 
120 steamers with a gross tonnage of about 
400,000 tons. 

2163. What are your views wth regard to the 
Light Load Line Bill that you desire to put 
before the Committee ? In my opinion and in 
the opinion of the Chamber of Shipping which 
I represent: First, there should be no such 
interference by legislation with the management 
of the shipping or any other trade or business 
unless it bo absolutely necessary for the public 
safety, and then only after the fullest and 
clearest proof of very .serious loss of life or 
injurj', which alone 'can justify State inter- 
ference. I do not consider that" any such case 
of loss of life has been made out or can be made 
out by reasom of the alleged under-ballasting of 
British vessels. And, second, even if a case 
were made out for State interference, it should 


Chairman continued, 
be clearly demonstrated, before any trade is 
interfered with or even disturbed by threatened 
chang^, that the remedy is one which would 
clearly prevent the evil complained of, and be 
of a just and workable character. In my opinion 
this Light Load Line Bill would not effect the 
desired purpose and would not be either just or 

2164. Will you state your reasons for this 
opinion to the Committee ? The subject of 
proper ballasting is an extremely difficult and 
technical one and can only be properly dealt 
with in my opinion by those who are acquainted 
with the vessels concerned. Nothing in my 
judgment can properly take the place of actual 
and practical experience. To try and make hard 
and fast rules which would be safe in the public 
interest, and at the same time fair and just to 
all types and classes of vessels, and for all 
voyages or seasons of the year would in my 
opinion be impossible. Again the practical 
application of any such Load Line Act and 
Rules, if made, would be a matter of verjA great 
difficulty, especially to steamers, for the circum- 
stances of each intended voyage would have to 
be considered by the officials charged with the 
administration of the Act, and this would neces- 
sarily involve frequent delay and dispute and 
friction between the Gouernment officials and 
the shipowTiers and their servants. I would 
further point out that in sailing ships in ballast 
much depends upon the amount of sail carried 
in bad weather, whether the ballast is sufficient, 
what allowance or force is the Government 
official to give to these considerations in fixing 
the load fine for a particular voyage. Is the 
ballast to be sufficient to enable the ship to carry 
full .sail, or, if not, what amount of sail in strong 
winds. These things would have to be provided 
for and definitely settled in making a penal 
enactment under which masters and owners 
could be fined and puni.shed. Again, the inevi- 
table result of fixing a hard and last rule, such 
as is proposed, would tend to diminish the res- 
ponsibility of shipowners and masters in cases 

R ol 



24 March 1903.] 

Sir J. L Mackay, o.c.m.g., k.c.le. 


Chairman continued. 

of special dirticultv mul (lunger, which will not 
infrequently arise from time to time, and induce 
them to rest satisfied with the mere compliance 
with the letter of the law, which would exonerate 
them from personal responsibility. For these 
general rea.sons, amongst others, shipowners are 
altogether against the enactment of any compul- 
sory light load line tis applicable to British 

2165. In vour opinion, is there any necessity 
proved for tliis Act ? Well, I consider that there 
IS no necessity, so far as I have been able to 
gather. I would point out that no case what- 
ever has been macie out. I would quote from a 
statement made by Lord Dudley, representing 
the Board of Trade, in tho House of Lords, on 
the 6th of May, 1902, when the second reading 
of the Light Load Line Bill took place. He 
said, as follows : " I assure the House that oc- 
currences of this kind, instead of being very 
frequent, are very rare indeed I think this can 
be proved by a reference to the Wreck Inquiries. 
When the causes of a wreck aie at ah doubtful 
or suspicious, a very careful mquiry is held by 
qualified people, and I find thai between 1892 
and 1900 (as appears from the Reports of these 
Inquiries), there were only 20 cases in which the 
question of under-ballasting was raised, and in 
only 10 of these cases was it proved that the 
ballasting was insufficient. From 1900 to the 
present time there have been 12 eases in Avhich 
the question of under-ballasting was raised, and 
in five (two steamer and three sailing ships) it 
has been proved that there was under-ballastini'. 
These inquiries were held all over the world. 
Therefore, it comes to this, that in the last 10 
years there have been, altogether, 32 cases in 
which questions of tmder-ballasting have been 
raised at all, and in only 1.5 cases in 10 
yejirs has it been proved by competent people 
that there has been insufficient ballasting " 
(15 cases in 10 years, ray Lord); " I am not able 
to tell the House," s<ud Lord Dudley, " how 
many lives have been lost in these 15 cases, but 
I believe I was right when 1 told my noble 
friend on the last occasion that up to last yesir 
not a single case of a man losing his life had 
been proved to be solely due to insufficient 
liallastmg. This is the evil mth which we have 
got to de\l. I cannot help thinking that it is too 
small an evil to Uistity legislation." In addition 
to what Lord Dudley sjiid, Mr. Howell, the 
Assistant-secretary of the Marine Department of 
the Board of Trade, has given most full and 
detailed evidence before your Lordships, proving 
conclusively that there has been but very small 
life loss indeed, proved to be due to under 
ballasting, and further evidence will be called on 
that point Ijefore this Committee if deemed 
necessarj'. The public records in these matters 
are made by impartial officials who have no 
interest save that of the public to serve, and are 
made in pursuance of the duty imposed by law 
upon them. The Boanl of Trade, as the recent 
history of shipping will prove, has never hesitjited 
to act in the interest ot the public where a 
of serious loss of life, owing to preventable 
causes, can be made out, and 1 would therefore 
rather rest the case of the shipowners in opposi- 
ion to this Bill on the evidence of this Depart- 

Chairman continued. 

ment of the State charged with the control ot 
the Mercantile Marine than upon any ex oaHe 
statements on the one side or the other. It will 
be borne in mind by your Lordships that all 
casualties to British ships must by law be 
reported and the Board ot Trade officials make 
preliminary enquiry into all such and 
wherever they are of a serious character 
or seem to involve blame in any way 
they are further most carefullv sifted by 
the higher officials, and if they then consider 
the cases are of such a character as to require 
formal and public inquiry such cases are openly 
investi^ted either before an inspector appointed 
by the Board of Trade or at a formal investiga- 
tion, when witnesses are heard in open court and 
the parties are represented professionally if they 
so desire. It will then be seen that the cases 
which have been brought before your Lordships 
are not at all a sample of the bulk of these cases, 
but those which have gone through a process of 
careful selection and are the most serious and 
important cases which have been chosen by the 
Board of Trade for public inquiry. No deduc- 
tions can be drawn therefore as to these casual- 
ties generally from the result in these selected 
and exceptional cases. With and subject to this 
explanation it will be noted that the number oi 
cases in which upon due investigation British 
ships have been found by competent courts to be 
under-ballasted arc extremely few, indeed abso- 
lutel}' trifling, when compared with the total 
volume of the shipping trade. I am told that 
these cases which have been enumerated before 
you total to only 15 in 10 years. Again, when 
the judgments in these cases are carefully ex- 
amined (which I have no doubt your Lordships 
will do) 1 am told that there were in many cases 
other causes than under-ballasting which either 
brought about or contributed to the casualties in 
question, although the matter of under-ballasting 
seems to have also arisen or been referred to in 
these judgments. Assuming however that in all 
these 15 cases actual under-ballastng was proved, 
yet your Lordships will see what an infinitesimal 
fraction of British shipping this nuniber really 
is; when it is considered that there have 
been upwards of 9,000 British steamers and 
upwards of 10,000 British ships trading each 
and every year during that period. It will thus 
be seen that the percentage of proved cases of 
under-balla.sting, compared with the number of 
ships navigating, is absolutely infinitesimal and 
does not afford any justification for legislative 

2166. Then there arc some cases of missing 
.sailing ships in ballast ; what do you say about 
that ? I would venture to remind the Committee 
that ships in ballast are subject to most, if not 
all, the general risks of navigation, such as colli- 
sions, stranding and loss by errors of navigation, 
striking derelicts or submerged dangers, accidents 
to hull and machinery, hurricanes and storms, 
&c., &c., and it would be altogether unjust to 
assume that either missing sailing ships or 
steamers in ballast were lost owing to being 
under-ballasted. And the judgments of courts 
of enquiry sitting after the event and with neces- 
sarily limited knowledge must be received with 
some degree of caution, especially wliere the 




24 March 1903.] 

Sir J. L. Mackay, g.c.m.g., k.c.i.e. 


Chairman -continued. 

members of these courts hold strong, perhaps 
unduly strong, views on this particular subject, 
having regard to their judicial capacity ; I, of 
course, refer to the assessors or inspectors who 
have been cited before you and have, some of 
them, expressed very strong personal views on 
this matter. 

2167. I do not know whether I should ask you 
just a question on that. Have you and those 
vou represent confidence in those courts ? You 
say that there may be some men on them who 
have very strong views ? I think, my Lord, we 
have confidence in them on the whole. 

2168. It has been said that the under-ballasted 
ships run very great risks and that serious loss 
might at any time occur. Have you anything 
to say about that ? I believe several witnesses 
called before your Lordship suggested that, al- 
though no serious loss of life had been proved, 
yet the gravest perils had been incurred and 
that only the intervention of Providence had 
averted serious loss of life, and that legislative 
intervention was necessary to prevent or diminish 
fiiture risk. I think I tave fairly summarised 
the argument put forward. In answer I would 
say that the experience of the past 10 years 
makes this argument untenable. During all 
this time about 20,000 British vessels (sail and 
steam) have been trading in hundreds of thou- 
sands of voyages all over the world, in narrow 
waters, along dangerous coasts, in all kinds of 
weather, and if it be true, as has been alleged, 
that an enormous percentage indeed a majority 
of cargo of tramp steamers go to sea under- 
ballasted and in an imsafe and dangerous con- 
dition, how is it, if these things be really true, 
that there has not been a very serious and yearly 
record of loss of life and shipping from these 
causes ? Common sense and the inevitable 
doctrine of averages will satisfy your Lordships 
that if these alleged conditions and their con- 
sequent dangers exist to the extent alleged, the 
result must have been apparent in the public 
records of casualties to British shipping; and 
the absence of these records appears to prove 
conclusively that the case as presented cannot be 

2169. Tlien we have had evidence as to 
accidents happening to shafts and propellers 
of steamers tnrough under-ballasting. What 
have you to say about that ? It has 
been alleged that shafting, propellers, and 
machineiy are verj' frequently aamaged in 
steamers m ballast, and that this is a contmuing, 
if not an increasing danger. From inquiry 
made, I find that the number of propellers and 
shafts which have been fractured (lurmg the last 
four years has been steadily decreasing. I 
would mention in our own case, my Lord, that 
up to about 10 or 15 (say 10) years ago, we were 
in the habit of accepting Lloyds' dimensions tor 
our shafts ; in order to be on the safe side we 
increased the dimensions of all the shafting in 
the new ships we were building by 15 per cent, 
above Lloyds' requirements. About three years 
ago (or two years ago) Lloyds' increased their 
size by 10 per cent. ; we then still increased the 
dimensions of our shafting by 10 per cent, over 
the new rule. 


Chairman continued. 

2170. After Lloyds had issued this new re- 
gulation ? After Lloyds had issued this new 

2171. You had already gone beyond ? We 
had gone 15 per cent, beyond the original ; we 
are now 10 per cent, beyond what they have 
increased it to. 

2172. You have increased again ? Yes, simply 
to be on the safe side. It costs us a good deal 
more money ; but it is most important from the 
shipowners' point of view, and it is cheaper. 

I Lord Muskerry 

2173. That will be, in all, 45 per cent, will not 
it ? No ; 25 per cent, above wnat Lloyds were 
10 years ago. 


2174. You are now speaking of what j'ou have 
done in the British India Steam Navigation 
Company ? Yes, in the British India steamers. 
I put in a copy of a return which has been sup- 
plied to the Chamber of Shipping by the Liver- 
pool Underwriters' Association of casualties to 
propellers and shafts of steamers over 500 tons 
gross register, which have occurred during the 
past four years. This association is one on whose 
accuracy no doubt full reliance can be placed as 
impartial and disinterested, for it will be noted 
that the figures are those of underwriters and 
not of shipowners. From this list it will be seen 
that in the year 1899 there was a total number 
of casualties to propellers and shafts of 197, of 
which 128 were British and 69 were foreign 
vessels ; in the year 1900 the total casualties had 
diminished from 197 to 185, of which 90 occurred 
to British and 95 to foreign vessels. ( The Table 
is handed in). 

Lord SJmnd. 

2175. How are the returns got of foreign 
vessels ? Is it foreign vessels in our ports or 
leaving our ports ? No ; I think as far as this; 
Liverpool Society of Underwriters has been able 
to ascertain, it is from all reported casualties 
to foreign vessels. 

2176. All the world over you mean? Yes,. 
all the world over. In the year 1901 the casual- 
ties had further diminished to 140, of which 65> 
were to British and 75 to foreign ships. In 1902 
(which of course is the last complete year for 
which figures are at present obtainable) the 
casualties had further fallen to 116, of which 54 
occuiTcd to British and 62 to foreign vessels. 
When it is considered that there are over 6,468, 
British steamers over 500 tons gross register in 
active work, making very large numbers of voyages, 
both in cargo and in ballast, it is marvellous 
how free these vessels have run from accidents, 
to their shafts and propellers, because it will be 
seen that in the last year (1902) there were only 
54 British vessels which sustained accidents to- 
their shafts and propellers, which amounted to- 
about one accident per week (among the whole 
of the British steam shipping in the world only 
one accident per week) on say 6,468 steamers 
over 500 tons gross register at risk. 

B 2 2177. That. 



24 Maixh 1903.] 

Sir J. L. Mackay, g.c.m.g., k.c.i.e. 


Lord Shund continued. 
2177. Thill is, the propellers you are .speiiking 
of^The shafts and propellers under one per 
cent, of the total number of these steamers on 
the British register were subject to those casual- 
ties during that year. But it must still further 
bo borne in mind that of these 54 casualties, far 
the greater proportion occurred to loade<l ships. 
I have had shown me the statistics published 
by the shipping newspaper called the " Syren," 
which apparently advocates the ti.xing of a light 
load line, and therefore its figures may be faurly 
ouoted by me without probability of dispute on 
Uiis question ; and I find from these returns that 
ot the vessels sUited to be recorded as loaded and 
in ballast, there were in the year 1899, 66 recorded 
as laden and 38 in ballast: in the year 1900, 43 
laden and 12 in ballast; in 1901, 26 laden and 
15 in ballast; in 1902, 26 laden and 11 in ballast, 
so that I am cerUinlv within the mark in saying 
that far more than half (probably two-thirds)of the 
accidents to shafts and propellers occur to loaded 
steamships and only about one-third to steamers 
in ballast. Applying these figures therefore to 
the return to which I have already oilled your 
attention, it is clear that the number of shaft 
and propeller accidents in ballast is infinitesi- 
mal, seenig that less than one-half per cent, of 
the British steamers over 500 tons when trading 
suffered any such casualty when in ballast. I 
contend, my Lords, that those who advocate a 
change such as this and desire to secure Govern- 
ment interference in the management of the 
shipowners' Trade must prove the serious public 
necessity for it. No such proof has been given 
or can be given, and the figures I have quoted 
show that even the accidents to shafting and 
propellers which have been complained about 
before this Committee are rapidly and steadily 
diminishing. It is not a growing quantity ; it is 
ft diminishing quantity. 


2178. You desire to call the attention of the 
Committee to the difference between the subject 
of the deep load line and the light load line, do 
you not? Yes. I should like to call to the 
recollection of the Committee the circumstances 
out of which the deep load line arose. After 
the Merchant Shipping Act of 1876 was passed, 
which established what is known as the " Plim- 
sollMark"in British ships, there was a great 
deal of friction and dispute between the Board 
of Trade officials and shipowners as to where 
the Plimsoll Mark should be placed, and various 
actions were brought against the Board of Trade 
in respect to alleged wrongful detention of 
vessels. Mr. Chainberlain, who was then Presi- 
dent of the Board of Trade, proposed some very 
serious amendments of the Merchant Shipping 
Law ' interfering seriously with the conduct of 
shipowners' business. Both prior to and in 
proposing this Bill, Mr. Chamberlain alleged 
that there was great and preventable loss of 
life, which he said amounted to one seaman in 
in every 66 employed in the merchant service, 
and compared this very unfiivourably with life 
loss on board foreign vessels, therefore, that was 
cited as a rea.son jot the introduction of a deep 
loail line. These figures were much disputed 

Chairman continued, 
at the time, and the Bill was ultimately 
withdrawn, and a Royal Commission was 
appointed to enquire into loss of life at sea. 
Ais Royal Commission reported in 1886. 
Meanwhile, a Committee had been appointed 
in 1883 to consider and report upon the 
practicability or otherwise of framing "Deep 
Load Line Tables," and this Committee reported 
in 1 885. The compulsory Deep Load Line Act 
was not, however, passed until 1890. 1 do not 
propose to deal witn this past controversy at all 
beyond pointing out that when Mr. Chamber- 
lain took this action which eventuated in the 
passing of a Deep Load Line Act, he did so as 
the responsible Minister of the Crown and based 
his proposals upon what he claimed to be an 
extremely serious case of preventable loss of 
life at sea which his Department supported by 
most voluminous statistics. Now, in the present 
case, this matter is brought forward by private 
persons, and no evidence or proof of any serious 
loss of life is produced in support, nor is any 
attempt made to prove that the danger is 
increasing. On the contrary, the Board of Trade 
has appciired by its representative and con- 
clusively proved, first, that there is but a very 
small, indeed infinitesimal, loss of life from 
vmder-ballasted shiixs, and second, that such evil 
as there may be is being steadily, if not rapidly 
cured. May I add that there was a motive of 
substantial gain which tended to induce the 
over-loading of ships, but the risks to owners 
of serious pecuniary loss and dislocation of 
trade by reason of under-blasting must be a 
constant inducement in the direction of reason- 
ably safe ballasting. The problem of the Deep 
Load Line was a relatively simple matter, and 
was easily applied whereas the Light Load 
Line is a most difficult and complex matter 
and the circumstances of each voyage will 
need to be examined and taken into account 
in fixing the light load line for the voyage unless 
gross and serious injustice is to be done. I 
claim, therefore, my Lords, that the circum- 
stances which led up to the passing of the Deep 
Load Line, and the problem which was then solved 
were absolutely dirterent and cannot be compared 
with those which now exist in connection with 
this Light Load Line Bill. 

2179. Have you anything to say as to the 
interest shipowners have in sending their .ships 
to sea properly ballasted ? Well, my Lord, I 
think it will be evident to your Lordships that 
it is in the interests of shipowners to navigate 
their vessels safely and free from accidents, and 
I am sure that speaking generally the greatest 
care is taken. At the same time, I am in favour 
of penalising or punishing any shipowner who 
sends his ship to sea in an unsafe and unsea- 
worthy condition. In my opinion the present 
law is quite adequate if duly enforced to deal 
with this question. By the Merchaiit Shipping 
Act the shipowner is in addition to his liabilities, 
which maybeenormous, guilty of a misdemeanour 
if he sends his ship to sea in an unseaworthy 
state by reason of her being over-laden or 
improperly laden, and I am advised and believe 
that the law clearly covers the case of sending a 
ship to sea ballasted or improperly 
ballasted. Furthermore the Board of Trade has 





24 March 1903.] 

Sir J. L. Mackay, g.c.m.g. k.c.i.e 


Chairman continued. 

power to detain any vessel which is unsafe 
bv reason of her being improperly ballasted 
or under-ballasted. It has been said that this 
power is not understood or is doubted by Board 
of Trade officials. If there should be any doubt 
as to the law upon that point I am sure that 
shipowners would be quite prepared to support 
any amendment that might be necessary to 
make the point clear. But, apart from the 
shipowners' enormous civil and criminal respon- 
sibilty in the matter, his self-interest in my 
opinion induces him to have his ship sufficiently 
ballasted to secure .safety. The result or ten- 
dency of serious imder-ballasting would be to 
bring about casualties, such as broken shafting 
or propellers, or cause vessels to strand on lee 
chores, or to sustain damage in a harbour or 
roadstead. Now all these casualties must neces- 
sarily involve a serious loss upon owners, and it 
is to their pecuniary interest to avoid them. If 
.a vessel injures her shafting or propeller she 
may be laid up in a foreign port, waiting for a 
new propeller or shaft to Ije sent out, for weeks 
or even months, and the shipowner gets no 
compensation whatever for the loss of his ship's 
valuable time whilst so waiting. The loss of 
the owner in such a case is often tar greater 
than the loss to his underwriters, and therefore 
the OAViier has the strongest possible induce- 
ment to prevent this possible detention of his 
ship and dislocation of his trade. The .same 
remark applies to the case of a ship stranding. 
The ship, if she comes oft' generally takes a long 
time to repair, the loss of which falls upon the 
shipowner, and if the ship is lost which 
is not at all common with ballast ships in most 
cases and under ordinary circumstances the ship 
owner suffers very considerably, and is deprived 
of the employment of the ship in carr)ang on his 
trade. For these reasons, in my opinion, the 
shipowners have every motive to ballast their 
vessels properly, and it is a steady inducement 
which, with growing knowledge and improved 
practice, will always work in the direction of 
safety. Again, my lord, I might supplement 
that by saying that to send a ship to sea under- 
ballasted, in almost every case if bad weather is 
likely to be encountered or is encountered the 
ship takes a much longer time to make the 
pa.ssage, and she consumes much more coal ; she 
knocks herself about and it is very uncomfort- 
able for everybo<Iy on board ; it is therefore in 
the shipowner's interest to see that his ship is 
ballasted, and it is in the master's interest also 
to see that she is properly ballasted. 

2US0. Do you wish to make any statement as 
to your experience of the India Com- 

fany's steamers when running in ballast ? Well, 
may say, my Lord, that tne steamers of the 
British India Steam Navigation Company make 
very frequent voyages in ballast, and I have had 
the records of the company examined for the 
last 20 years and I find the following facts as to 
casualties, accidents to shafting and propellers 
when loaded and in ballast respectively, that 
there have been 24 cases of damage to shafts 
and propellers, of which .six cases, or one-fourth, 
have occurred to our steamers when in ballast. 
I do not think any of the ships that have been 
built within the last 10 years, with the heavier 

Chairman continued. 

shafting, have suffered damage by the breaking 
of shafts. We observe that the number of cases 
are certainly very small now in the British India 
Company's fleet, but even these we have endeav- 
oured to provide against in building new ships 
by increasing the shafting. As the steamers of 
our Company make a great many ballast voyages, 
I am of opinion that this proves that these shaft 
and propeller accidents occur quite as frequently, 
indeed more frequently, when loaded as when 
in ballast. 

2181. Have you any views as to how in .some 
cases the vmder-ballasting has come about ? 
In my opinion some cases of under-ballasting 
have arisen in consequence of a recent change 
in the material used for the construction of 
steamships from iron to steel, the adoption of a 
fuller model and flatter bottom, and also the 
removal of all unnecessary or unprofitable weight 
from cargo-carrying steamers, with the view, of 
course, of enabling tnem to carry a larger amount 
of freight-earning cargo. Those responsible for 
the construction of the ships have not, I think, 
adequately appreciated the fact of these changes 
and made corresponding provision for increased 
ballasting. Now, public attention has been a 
good deal directed the last few years to this 
matter, and I am clearly of opinion that it is a 
matter that is steadily righting itself and that 
in steamers that have been recently built, or are 
building, a more ample provision is being made 
for permanent ballast, so that on this account 
also there is every reason to expect that the 
future will show a material improvement as 
regards the adequate ballasting of ships. 

2182. Have you anything to state as to the 
alleged reluctance of masters to ask for more 
ballast or to give evidence about under 
ballasting ? Well, it has been repeatedly stated 
before this Committee that masters of British 
vessels dare not ask their owners for additional 
ballast or complain of the amount of ballast 
provided or they would be forthwith discharged 
and fail to find future employment, and further 
that shipmasters in active employment dare not 
appear before this Committee to give evidence 
or they would be marked men and fail to obtain 
employment. I believe this to be a most 
unwarrantable misrepresentation against British 
shipowners, and spealcing from a long experience 
in the shipping trade I can say that in my 
opinion shipov/ners are quite ready to receive 
all proper and reasonable suggestions as to the 
management of their vessels from their masters. 
Indeed it is their interest to encourage this and 
to pay all due attention to their suggestions as 
they have the greatest and best opportunities of 
knowing what is necessary and safe for the 
navigation of their ships. As to their masters 
not being allowed to give evidence freely before 
this Committee, 1 am of opinion that it is an 
untrue and unwarrantable statement, and I do 
not think such statement should be made 
without definite and adequate proof 

Lord Shand. 

2183. I doubt if such a statement has been 
made. It was said that masters were controlled 
a good deal by their owners in ballasting ; but I 
do not think any one has said that shipmasters 




24 March 1903.] 

Sir J. L. Mackay, o.c.m.o., k.c.i.k. 


not being 

Lord Shand continued, 
have been told that they had better not appear 
before this ('omuiittee. ' I think that pas-we is 
over stated ? I did not mean that, my Lor(I. 

214. Would yoii rejid that passage again. 1 
do not think that luus been said as yon state it 
in your evidence > I meant that they were 
afraid to appear. 


2185. What was said as to masters not being 
allowed freely to give evidence before the Com- 
mittee wius not quijte as you put it. There is no 
evidence that they have' been forbidden to come ? 
Then I had better leave that out. That 
passage had better be deleted. 

2186. They have been unwilling to come, that 
has been said ? Yes, probably it should be 
" unwilling to come " instead of 
allowed ; ' I might alter that. 

2187. Have you anything to say, as to the 
application of a compulsory light load line to 
foreign vessels? The shipowners feel very 
strongly, and in this I agree with them entirely, 
that there should be no legislation affecting 
British ships except in case of extreme public 
urgency, which does not equally affect foreign 
vessels trading to British ports. In this case of 
the proposed light load line I do not know how it 
could be possible to apply the same to foreign 
ships generally. First of all it is evidently in- 
tended to apply this Bill to British ships when 
trading abroad. Clearly the same law could not 
be applied to foreign ships under the same cir- 
cumstances, so that British shipowners might be 
hampered and handicapped very seriously in 
that respect. As to the application of the light 
load line in British ports, in my opinion the 
Board of Trade officials would never venture 
to detain foreign ships in most cases on the eve 
of their sailing without having the opportunity 
of going extremely closely into the nice calcu- 
lations and obtaining the fullest information to 
justify their action, and they would not have 
facilities or powers to obtain the necessary infor- 
mation from the foreign captains or owners -to 
enable them to act. 

2188. Just merely to save trouble, let mc put 
this to you : The Board of Trade do occasionally 
stop foreign ships with regard to the deep load 
line, now under a clause in the Act ? I believe 
they do; but I think it would be a very different 
matter to say that the ship is not sufficiently 
ballasted when she leaves a British port. 

2189. Even if she had got the light load line 
marked on her. I am not, of course, arguing in 
favour of it. but what witnesses have said is that 
if a light load line were on the ship then it 
would oe much easier for the detainers or the 
surveyors of the Board ot Trade ? On foreign 
ships ? 

2190. Of course foreign ships would not be 
marke<l ? No ; that is the point. 

2191. Will you go on ? In other words, as 
the foreign vessels would not have a light- load 
line fixed upon them, the Board of Trade officials 
could not get reliable information to guide them 
in taking action, and the result would be that 
the Act would be practically inoperative, so far 
as loreigii ships were concerned. This is 
a sUite of things which I altogether deprecate, 
and to which our British shipowners strongly 

Lord Shand. 

2192. Is it not the case now that these foreign 
vessels have no deep load line ? They have no 
deep load line. 

2193. Then the same thing applies in both 
cases ? Yes ; but you can j udge more by the 
vessel's freeboard whether she is over-loaded. 

2194. That may be a just observation, but your 
other observation appears to me to be too strong ? 
It ma)' be, somewhat. 

Lord Miiskerry. 

2195. Then you admit that it is requisite to 
have a mark to give reliable information ? I 
admit that if you decide to put a light load line 
mark on British ships it would be necessarj' in 
fairness to the owners of British vessels to apply 
the same mark to foreign ships. 

2196. Yes, to give them full information ? 


2197. Then I am afraid I interrupted rather 
what you were saying ; will you proceed ? To 
sum up my evidence, I say, my Lords, that we 
object to legislative interference in the manage- 
ment of our trade which we do and must under- 
stand a great deal better than those who seek to 
interfere with it. Legislative interference can 
only be justified by imperative public necessity 
and in tne serious intei'ests of safety of life. It 
has been proved conclusively before your Lord- 
ships that there has been no proved substantial 
loss of life whatever by reason of alleged under- 
ballasting. As the law at present stands, the 
shipowner has every motive and responsibility 
to induce him to take care in this matter, and 
the immunity from loss of life or casualty seems 
to clearly prove that speaking generally this 
duty is fulfilled. The ballasting of ships has 
been much under consideration in the last few 
years, and that the present practice m providing 
permanent ballast and in ballasting British 
vessels is in the direction of deeper immersion, 
and the casualties to ships in ballast is I believe 
steadily decreasing. Therefore the matter does not 
call for any legislative interference. This proposed 
light load line is a most complicated and difficult 
problem, and the administration of any Act 
would cause friction, delay, and unnecessary 
expense and still further handicap British 
shipowners. Such an Act cannot be applied to 
foreign vessels trading abroad, and probably 
Avould, for reasons I have given, be very rarely 
enforced in British ports. I think for these 
reasons that no case nas been made out for the 
Bill, and that it would be a most undesirable 
and indeed mischievous enactment. 

Lord Muskerry. 

2198. In the new ships you are building you 
are increasing the shafting you say, the size of 
the shafting ? Yes. 

2199. Are you adding extra provision for 
water ballast ? Yes. We have built in the last 
nine years I think, something like eight and 
twenty ships to caiTy 8,000 tons each, big cargo 
carries. When we first started building these 
.ships albout nine years ago we simply had the 
cellular double bottotii, now we have got the 
deep tank coming right up to the 'tween decks. 

2200. You 



24 March 1903.] 

Sir J. L. Mackay, g.c.m.g., k.c.i.e. 

[Continued, . 

Lord Muskerry continued. 

2200. Yoii acknowledge that it was necessary ? 
It vas a saving. 

2201 . But it was necessary ? We put that 
tank into the ships to . prevent the necessity of 
our taking in stone, ballast at Bombay, at the 
Mauritius, or in Australia. We till that tank 
up with water. It is cheaper than taking in any 
other ballast, and more easily manipulated. 

2202. I believe when your ships go in ballast 
they do not go under-ballasted ? I nope not. 

2203. I draw a great distinction between under- 
ballasted and improperly ballasted. You were 
speaking about dealing with this, you said that 
it should be dealt with bv people who had 
practical experience. Would not you say that 
your captains and the officers who were sailing 
these vessels would have the most practical 
experience of any. people ? Yes. I should say 
so, undoubtedly. I referred to a type. 

2204. Those men who sail in these ves.sels and 
have seen their behaviour in all sorts of weather, 
must they not have more practical experience 
than either a naval architect on shore or a ship- 
o^vner, or a marine superintendent who has not 
been in the vessels ?' No doubt, they see how 
the ship behaves in certain conditions. 

2205. Then if you find that the great majority 
of those captains are asking for it, and it is they 
who are asking for this Bill, would not you think 
that there must be something wrong, and that 
there is sojne necessity for this Bill ? Well, I 
should .say that is the case, if they are men who 
are going to sea at the present day. 

2206. This Bill has originated from men going 
to sea at the present day, simply and solely ; it 
comes from tnem i If you mean because they 
are sent to sea in under-ballasted ships. 

2207. They say that the ships are not manage- 
able, and that they are very dangerous. Does 
not that look something like a case for legisla- 
tion ? Then I shovdd .say, in that case, that the 
law is sufficient, and that the Board of Trade 
have power to "interfere it it be the case. If 
your Lordships do find it to be the case, that 
some ships are being sent to sea, against the 
wish of the masters and officers and the en- 
gineers, under-ballasted, I should say the case 
would probably be met by the Board of Trade 
drawing attention to that fact, and if neces.sary 
stopping the vessels from going to .sea. 

2208. Are you aware that there has not been 
a single case (not one as far as I remember, we 
asked several times) of any ship being detained 
through being insufficiently ballasted ? That is 
a matter for the Board of Trade then, surely. 

2209. Do not you think it would be a benefit 
to have a mark that a surveyor could go on ? 
Speaking as a shipowner, my Lord, I cannot say 
that I believe it would do any good. I think 
it would probably do harm. 

2210. It would any way give them .something 
to go on ? I think it might probably lead to 
very serious con.sequcnces. 

2211. Now we will take the deep load line- 
You were saying it was verv much more difficult 
to have the deep load line than the light load 
line. An inch or .so more immersion makes a 
great difierencc in the deep load line, does it 
not ? Yes. 

Lord Muskerry continued. 

2212. .Do not you think that considerably 
more latitude should be given for the light load 
line ? In fact a foot or so m the case of a light 
load line would not make so much difference as 
an inch in the case of the deep load Una ? I do 
not quite follow you, my Lord. 

2213. I mean to say when you have reached a 
certain limit of immersion you can allow for the 
burning of your coal going across the Atlantic, 
if you rise six inches for instance ? Are you 
speaking of a loaded ship ? 

2214. I am speaking of an insufficiently 
ballasted ship an insufficiently ballasted ship is 
perfectly helpless, is it not 1 Suppose you take 
the case of a ship which in ordinary circum- 
stances you would say had sufficient ballast 
drawing 14 feet, you put a light load line on at 
14 feet ; you have got to calculate how much 
coal that ship is likely to burn on the way across 
the Atlantic and what happens if she takes three 
or four days more than she ought to take ? 
If she encounters very bad weather and takes 
three or four more days to cross then you have 
60 or 70 or 80 tons of coal per day out of her 
it will have raised her. 

221.5. That may have raised her a foot but 
even that foot would not bring her into the con- 
dition of some of these vessels that are going 
across the sea ? I think that is a matter of 
opinion ; and it is a matter to be investigated. 

2216. It is very easy to put her down a little 
below the light load line is it not, and allow for 
that consumption ? Then you would be allowing 
for that in every ease. 

2217. You could do it ; I mean there is no 
difficulty in that ? Then you would require to 
have all sorts of load lines in a ship. If you put 
the load line on at 14 feet to enable the ship to 
cross the Atlantic, is it right to have the same 
line for a ship going across from here to Dunkirk 
in fine weather on a summer's day ? 

2218. On a summer's day and a short run; 
but as we have heard, some of the most danger- 
ous trips are made in the Channel these short 
trips ? I think you would land yourself in a 
very serious dilemma if you put a light load line 
on a ship and said : That is the light load line 
with which the ship may go to sea but she must 
not go to sea any lighter than that. 

2219. I think you have already several lines in 
the case of the deep load line, a line for the 
Indian .summer seas, a line for the North 
Atlantic, a line for salt water, and a fresh water 
line ? Yes, you have. 

2220. Then there is no reason why you should 
not have more than one in this case ? It would 
be rather a Chinese puzzle on the side of a ship 
I think. 

2221. You were saying that most of these 
accidents occur the greater number when the 
ships are loaded ; but is it not quite possible that 
the stress on the previous voyage that the racing 
of the propeller may have set up has damaged it ? 
It does not take place until you .have got the 
extra weight out of the ship ? That is a matter 
of course of inquiry ; but I think you will find 
very likely that a great many of these vessels 
which have fractured their shafts when loaded 
have never made a ballast run in the course of 
their lives. 

2222. I should 



24 March 1903.] 

Sir J. L. Mackay,, k.c.i.e. 


Tjord Miutkerry continued. 

2222. I should rather Hke to lusk you 
one more tiling that i.s, what would you will a 
serious loss of life I What would 1 call a serious 
loss ot life ? 

2223. What would you call a serious loss of 
life ? Well, I should say if it was shown that 
steamers were constantly being sent to sea that 
a matter of three or four steamers a year were 
sent to sea improperly ballasted and that lives 
lost or even one or two steamers a year. 

2224. If you found one steamer so sent and 
loss of life from these causes, would vou think 
that woidd need legislation ? No, I should not 
sa)' that would need legislation. 

2225. How much would you say? For 
instance, I would not say that if something 
happened to an express train, and there was a 
serious loss of life 

2226. From a preventible cause? From a 
preventible cause the railway company's atten- 
tion is drawn to it, and I think in the same way 

2227. They take precautions? The ship- 
owner's attention might be drawTi at the end of 
the year to the number of vessels lost under- 
balla.std ; and if that goes on and it is not 
checked, then I should &iy that a case might be 
made out for legislation. 

2228. There are certain shipowners 
very few I believe who ^vill not make any 
move unless the law comes into force ? The 
Board of Trade have the power now, I believe, 
to punish a man if he either takes his ship to 
sea, or an owner sends it, in an unsafe condition. 

2229. But it has never been done ; the ship- 
owner never has been punished ? Then I think 
the Board of Trade ought to be stirred up to 
take action. 

Lord Brassey. 

2230. I think the Committee may take it that 
you have had no personal experience in the 
mani^ement of the class of vessels which the 
advocates of the compulsory light load line 
have in view ? Is that the large cargo-carrying 

2231. The class of vessels which the advocates 
of the light load line have in view have not been 
under vour management in the British India 
Steam Navigation Company ? I think we have 
built 28 of these ships in the last nine years. Of 
course, as you rightly surmise, the bulk of our 
fleet is of a different t)^e. 

2232. What I meant to say or to suggest 
was that the tramps and a certain class of 
vessels, which arc stifled with perhaps an undue 
regard to economy, have not been under your 
management ? WoU, I hope not. 

Lord Shand. 

2233. I just want to ask one thing To 
what extent are these light loaded vessels, 
sailing in ballast, insured by the owners as a 
rule ? I think as a rule the ships are insured by 
the year. 

2234. But is there a full insurance over such 
ships ? I think so no doubt. 

2235. Their full value ? Yes. 

2236. Suppose accidents occur ca;Sualties 
shipowners m that case, so far as they are con- 

Lord Shand continued. 

cemed, get the value in that way ? I take . it 
that, if a ship in ballast breaks a sliaft and puts 
into a port for repairs, the cost of repairing the 
shaft, or a portion of the cost is probably borne 
by the underwriters, but the detention to the 
ship is not paid for by the underwriters. 

2237. I quite understood you to say that 
detention is not covered, but in other respects 
the damage is covered ? The damage to the: 
shaft is no doubt covered. A great many 
owners cover themselves fully ; other owners do. 
not insure at all. 


2238. There is only one question I should, 
iust like to ask: You are aware that we have 
nad a considerable amount of evidence from 
masters to the effect that among the masters 
in the shipping trade there is a considerable- 
desire that this light load line should be en- 
forced by law. Have you any reason to doubt 
that that opinion exists to the extent which 
I say, which I cannot exactly name, but they 
say there is a very large number of them who- 
have this feelinji ? I cannot say that I have 
ever heard of such a thing in the case of men 
going to sea. There may be men who have 
retired from the sea and who see vessels going 
to sea that they have never been in command of, 
and as to which they would probably say that they 
would be balloons and quite unsafe'; but I do- 
not think the opinion of men who have retired 
from the sea is, as a rule, of very much value, , 
because circumstances are constantly changing 
and they are rather borrowing on their memory 
and from past experience. 

2239. I think we had the evidence of cer- 
tainly a repi'esentative of a very large guild 
ot shipmasters I have not got the actual note 
before me of the number, but I think something 
like 10,000 men he said close upon 10.000- 
men, he represented ? I do not know whether 
I should be in order if I suggested that it might 
be a good thing if you could get the evidence 
of some men who have actually been to sea in 
those ships. 

2240. But I think we have done so ? Actually 
been to sea in them ? 

2241. Yes, I think certainly we have had that. 
Within the last year or two ? 

Lord Muskerry. 

2242.' Within the last couple of years or three 
years. And who are still going to sea ? 

2243. No ; or they would not have been free 
to come and give evidence. That is the point I 
took up with Lord Shand the statement made 
that they are afraid to give evidence. 


2244. There is no harm in saying what the 
witness was ; we had the representative of the 
Merchant Shipping Guild a body of officers of 
the Merchant Service representative of something 
like 10,000 in number. That Guild, I under- 
stand, represents masters going to sea now as 
well as past masters ? It must be very difficult 
for these men ; thej^ are all over the world, these 
10,000 men; and, taking a very, very large 




24 March 1903.] 

Sir J. L. Mackay, g.c.m.g., k.c.i.e. 


Chairman continued. 

percentage of those men, they probably have 
never been to sea in ballast ships at all. 

Lord Muskerry. 

2245. Oh, yes, they have ; I have seen their 
letters. You may take it from me, I have seen 
numbers of letters from masters who are in 
command of their ships at the present moment ? 
Well, I think they ought to nave the courage 
of their opinions and come forward to state 


2246. You rather doubt it I only want to 
get the fact ? I should be disposed to doubt 
the statement that men are sent to sea in ships 
which are under-baUasted against their ^ml. 
There may be an error of judgment on the part 
of a master taking his snip to sea occasionally 
with too little ballast in. It is certainly not in 
the owner's interest that the ship should go to 
sea under-ballasted. 

2247. No, we understand that, we have often 
put that question ? I cannot conceive how any 
owner in his senses would send his ship across 
the Atlantic, or over to South America or out to 
Australia in such a erudition. In my one case 
of experience, mostly in the Eastern Seas in 
the case of ships going round from Bombay to 
Calcutta there is nothing to be gained by it. The 
ship knocks itself about. 

2248. You think there would not be a very 
great number; but there might be some who 
would be more negligent and who would consider 
the cost of the ballast, and the detention it 
would cause when they had to get rid of it when - 
the ship got into port ? They must be very bad 
shipowners, I think bad from a business point 
of view. 

2249. You said that you, or those you re- 
present, object to legislative interference: Now 
there was as you admitted legislative interference 
with regard to the deep load line ? Yes. 

2250. I suppose there was at that time very 
strong objection to that among shipowners? 
Probably there was; but I think there is no 
floubt that that case was made out, that there 
had been serious loss of life through overloading. 

2251. And if the case were made out for the 
light load line you would think it would be 
justified by a reference to the precedent of the 
other ? I think if a serious case of loss of life 
were made out through under-ballasting then I 
should say undoubtedly it would be justifiable. 

2252. I suppose you agree that wllere a ship is 
under-ballasted she very often becomes un- 
manageable ? There is no doubt that if a ship is 
under-ballasted she will be unsafe ; but it is not 
only a question of under-ballasting; it is a 
question of the placing of the ballast. 

-253. Quite so ; I ought to have added that, 
improperly ballasted, too. If a ship is under 
ballasted or improperly ballasted and she gets 
into bad weather, no doubt she has either got to 
be hove to and wait until the weather moderates 
or she may be knocked about a good deal. As 
far as we can make out there have been very few 
cases proved of under-ballasting leading to the of property or the loss of life. 

Chairman continued. 

2254. You do not think there is any evil to 
remedy now ? I do not consider there is a 
sufiicient evil existing to justify legislative 

2255. We have heard witnesses who have said 
that though they did not think it was a matter 
for legislation there was an amount of evil 
existing, but that that would be cured by some 
of the reasons you have given shipowners 
interfering to protect their own property, and so 
on ? Yes. 

2256. But you do not even admit the evil ^ 
you do not think there is any e\^l hardly existing 
of under-ballastmg ? I think there is very little 

2257. Very httle indeed ? I think so. As I 
have admitted in my evidence, there have been 
some cases where, no doubt, under-ballasting has 
contributed, but I do not think it is a sufficient 
evil to justify legislative interference, and it is a 
decreasing evil ; but as the type of ship goes on 
altering and experience is gained, naturally 
these cases will become smaller. 

Lord Shand. 

2258. Is that, may I ask, altering in any case 
except with regard to the large ships that are 
crossing the Atlantic and the like; is it also 
improvmg in smaller vessels ? I think so yes. 
There is no doubt the disposition has been to 
widen out the ship, to give her greater beam, to 
make her flatter on the floor. 

2259. Small coasting vessels, too ? Small 
coasting vessels, too, no doubt small coasting 
vessels carrying coal. No doubt that has arisen ; 
and no doubt there might have been a vessel 
of the same tonnage which might be safe with 
less ballast than a vessel of a different shape. 
A ship with a flatter floor would require more 
ballast to immerse her though of the same 

Lord Wolverton. 

2260. Then I take it you agree on this occasion 
with Mr Howell who told us that from his figures 
(and from the figures you have given us) it was 
much safer to go to sea in a ship in ballast than 
in any other form of ship. Mr. Howell gave that 
information to the Committee, or to me at all 
events ? I do not know that 1 would say that. 
I should say that as a matter of comfort I would 
much rather go to sea in a ship that was well 

2261. I think the figures Mr. Howell gave u 
proved that it was safer to go to sea in a ship in 
ballast than in a ship not in ballast ? There are 
probably fewer ships in ballast lost than ships 

2262. I am not comparing the two. I think 
it was so ? Yes. 


2263. I suppose you would say that_ properly 
ballasted ships are as sate as loaded ships. The 
question we have to enquire into is whether there 
are many improperly ballasted ships in- 
sufficiently ballasted ? Even a properly ballasted 
ship is not so comfortable as a loaded ship. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 





24 March 1903. 

Caktain trail is called in; and, Examined, as follows: 


2264. You are u survever of the Board of 
Trade ? I am the princiiml otticer of the Board 
of Trade of the South Wales district. 

22C5. 'Principal surveying officer ? Principal 
surveying officer for South Wales. 

2266. Detaining officer ?^Detaining officer. 

2267. Where are you stationed ? At Cardiff. 

2268. You have got some evidence to give us 
as to your being able to detain ships on account 
of under-ballasting ? Yes. I take it that the 
section of the Act gives me power to do so. 

2269. Have you ever done it ? No. 

2270. Are you aware of any other surveying 
or detaining officer ever haidng stopped a ship 

foing to sea from insufficient ballasting ? No. 
have had none reported to me, no case 
whatever of under-ballasting. 

Lord Muskerry. 

2271. Do you say that you have had none 
reported to you ? I have had none reported to 
me by any of my surveyors. 

2271.* How many surv^eyors have you under 
you ? Fourteen altogether. 

2272. At your diflferent ports ? Yes. Swansea, 
Cardiff, Barry, Bristol and Newport. 

2273. And into those ports do a great many of 
what are called " tramp ships " come ?^They are 
essentially tramp steamers or mostly. 

2274. Would you, if you saw a ship under 
ballasted and unsafe, detain her? If I were 
thoroughly satisfied ; but it would be a difficult 
thing to get at, and would take some time. I 
should take every possible thing into considera- 
tion before dealing with her. 

2275. It comes to this as regards that then", 
that you say you can detain ? Yes. I take it I 
can detain ships improperly laden. 

2276. Have you any opinion upon this light 
load line which has been suggested ? Yes ; from 
information that I have obtained in Cardiff and 
other ports, I think that the matter is rectifying 
itself that shipowners are alive to the necessity 
in certain circumstances, of putting a little extra 
ballast in and they do so. 

2277. Before you get to that, do you think at 
this present moment that a considerable number 
of ships do go to sea really insufficiently bal- 
lasted ? I do not think so. 

2278. You do not think so ? No. 

2279. Then if they do not, what is there to 
remedy ? I do not see anything.^ I take it, it 
is not so much that shipowners tnmk the vessels 
might be unseaworthy by having insufficient 
ballast, but in these hard times (and thev are 
very hard now) it is a matter not of how much 
you are going to make as regards freight, but 
now little you are goiiig to lose ; and there is no 
shipowner going to Galveston or any of the 
States ports who is going to leave for those ports, 
say a fortnight before lie would otherwise do ; 
therefore if he is close up to his cancelling date 
he will (as I know has been done) take a matter 
of extra stone or earth ballast to ensure his 
making a good passage. 

Chairman continued. 

2280. And you think as a rule most ships do 
take sufficient ballast ? I have no reason to 
think otherwise as regards South Wales. 

2281. Is there not an opinion among the 
masters of these ships that there ought to be 
some regulation to deal with ballasting ? I have 
never heard an opinion expressed to that effect. 

2282. Do you often talk to masters about 
their ships when they are going out? I 
have spoken to a few. I very often speak to 
them on many points. Of course they come to 
see me. 

2283. Would they talk freely to you ? Oh, 

Lord Wolverton. 

2284. We have heard of a great manv cases of 
ships coming up the Channel lightly laden, 
which would go into ports where you were 
Cardiff, Swansea, and so on ? Yes. 

2285. They would come under your personal 
control ? I should hear of them, and probably 
see some. 

2286. In your opinion, you do not see a great 
number of those ships under-ballasted perhaps 
in your career you have Seen one or two, out you 
do not see a great overwhelming number of such 
ships ? Arriving at our ports ? 

2287. Yes, arriving at our ports under-bal- 
lasted ? Well, at the South Wales ports it takes 
such a little time to rattle in a matter of 3,000 
or 4,000 ton.s that vessels arrive with their tanks 
half out in Barry especially : it is a very com- 
mon thing to see vessels come in there with their 
water ballast half pumped out. 

2288. Half pumped out, to get ready for the 
new cargo, I suppose ? Yes, to get ready. 

2289. But that is in safe waters, I ? 
Yes, in quite smooth water. It is a very com- 
mon occurrence. 

2290. You have told us the number you have 
got on your stafi' you have 14 people under 
you, have not you ? Yes. 

2291. They make reports to you, do not they ? 
It is their business to report to you if anything 
goes wrong ? Exactly so. 

2292. And the proceeding of the Board of 
Trade, or your proceeding in your position as 
a surveyor is ratner more that of a person who 
warns, is not it ? You would rather warn a man 
than detain him ? We invariably do. 

2293. You would not think quite that you 
would like to jump on a man at the last moment 
and detain hini ? No, we would not do that ; 
of coui-se not. 

2294. You would take the precaution of warn- 
ing him, would not you ? Yes ; in cases whore 
we found the vessel overladen 

2295. Underladen ? We give him an oppor- 
tunity of lightening his ship rather than execute 
our full powers. 

2296. In both cases in the case of over-laden 
ships and in the case of under-laden ships you J 
adopt the same principle ? The same principle. ' 

2297. You do not pounce on him at the last 




24 March 1903.] 

Captain Trail. 


Lord Wolverton continued, 
moment and say, " You are too heavily loaded ;" 
you give him decent warning, according to vour 
i(lea ? As regards the deep load line, we have 
tho load line marked on the ships, which tells 
us what it should be at once.- 

2298. And in the case of under-laden ships 
you give them a certain amount of warning ? 
Always ; and I may say that in the South Wales 
ports, daily, numbers of masters come to see us 
and ask us what they can do as regards the 
density of water of different docks, and that sort 
of thing. 

2299. And so you are continually in com- 
munication with them ? Continually. 

2300. The noble Chairman asks me whether 
you have ever given notice to ships that were 
miproperly ballasted or under-ballasted ? No : 
wt! have not done so. 

2301. You have never done that ? A case has 
never come before us where it has been neces- 

2302. "Where it has been necessary to warn 
the ship that it is under-ballasted ? Just so. 

Lord Shand. 

^303. I understand vou to say, you have 
never done that ? Wc have never done that. 

Lord Wolverton. 


2304. You have never had cause to do it ? 

Lord Shand. 

2305. And I suppose you say the same of the 
different officers who are under you. that so far 
as you know they have never done so, never 
given anv warning ? That is so. 

2306. You said the evil was remedying itself, 
you thought. What is the evil that you think 
IS remedying itself? Well, I did not say the 
" evil ; " I did not mention the word " evil." 

^307. I beg your pardon ; I thought you used 
the word. VVhat was the word you used ? 
What is it that is remedying itself ? I said ship- 
owners who are intending to build ships in the 
future in order to save their time, and to make 
regular passages more especially, are arranging 
for additional water ballast. 1 know two 
in point. 

2308. I quite understand that they are im- 
proving things very much ? Yes. 

2309. But what was the thing that had to be 
m proved? To get a little more ballast in the 
ivessels to ensure better passages. 

2310. So as to get better oallasted ? Better 
passages, better voyages. 

2311. By being better ballasted ? By being 
better ballasted. 

2312. Then there must have been to some 
extent a mischief in the want of ballasting if it 
was to be remedied ? There has boen delay, 
always there has been delay ; the ship will not 
go .so fast with the propeller out of the water as 
with it immersed. 

2313. Would not you say further that a vessel 
improperly ballasted is scarcely what you would 
call seawf)rthy ? I .should not' like to say that. 

2314. Do you think a lightly ballasted ship is 
seaworthy ? No, a properly ballasted ship would 


Lord Shand continued. 

2315. It requires a proper amount of ballast 
for the voyage ? Yes, and as I say I have had 
no cause yet to complain of any of the vessels. 
As regards the proper amount of ballast I might 
mention that we have now in Cardiff a very big 
ship, a 12,000 ton ship, a steamer, that vessel 
went out to sea in face of the gales we have been 

Lord Wolverton. 

2316. In ballast? In ballast; she had over 
6,000 tons, that is half her dead-weight capacity, 
water ballast and bunker coals, and she has put 
back very much damaged. 

Lord Shand. 

2317. Still, that ship was fully ballasted ac- 
cording to naval ideas ? Yes, she was fully 

Viscount Ridley. 

2318. I think you have told us you have had 
a good deal of conversation with the masters of 
ships at Cardiff and in South Wales ; they have 
often consulted you ? On different matters. 

2319. You and your officers, about density of 
water, and the amount of ballast necessary for 
particular voyages, I understand ? Just so. 

2320. Have any of them ever suggested to you 
that they would be glad of a little more official 
assistance to prevent imsea worthy ships going to 
sea ? I have no recollection of it. 

2321. We have had a witness or two before 
this Committee who have stated (probably before 
the time you might have been a surveyor 
there) that they went to sea themselves in ships 
that they knew to be insufficiently ballasted, and 
made American voyages ; one man in particular, 
I remember, went to America and got there 22 
days late. You have not heard that sort of 
thmg said to you by any of the masters with 
whom you have had free speech ? No, mv ex- 
perience is the very contrary. The complaint ia 
that they get a little bit too much supervision 
and espionage occasionally ; too much looking 

2322. Then do you think there is any great 
strength behind this demand for the light load 
line, which we are told comes from the master* 
of shipping ? I have heard no complaints what- 
ever from any masters of ships I have spoken Uy 
about that; they have never mentioned the 
matter to me. 

2323. One other question. I do not quite 
understand what the warning is that you say 
you have often given to ships ; I am not talking 
now of overloading; let us confine ourselves 
entirely to insufficient or improper ballasting. 
Are there cases in which you have said to a 
master : ' Your ship is not sufficiently bal- 
lasted " ? No, my Lord. 

2324. " You ought to put some more in " ? 
No ; the warning applies solely to the deep load- 
ing ; the over-loading. 

2325. It does not apply to this case ? No' 
'case of the kind has come before us at all. 

Lord Muske'i'ry. 

2326. Is it not a fact that the vessels coming 
into your district are coming to get cargo to get 
coal ? Mostly so. 

s 2 2327. Therefor 



24 March 1903.] 

Captain Trail. 


Lord Muskerry continued. 

2327. Therefore very few sail from your ports 
in ballast ? A very small proportion. 

2328. Now do you mean to toll the Committee 
that it is not a fact that it is a conmion practice 
for these vessels to arrive in Cardift in Swansea 
and so on insufficiently ballasted quite light 
all their deck ballast that they might have taken 
thrown overboard ? I have no recollection of 
any such case, but I might safely say that after 
a vessel arrived in CaVdin we should not pay verv 
much attention to her so long as she aiTived all 

2329. I 'believe you have been making some 
inquiries very lately amongst the ships as to how 
much water ballast was carried and how the ships 
were under control some of your people have 
been making inquiries have they not ? I have 
made none. 

2330. Some of your people have, have not 
they ? In South Wales ? 

2331. Yes ? No, not that I know of. 

2332. You do not know that ? No, I do not 
know ; it has not come through me. 

2333. Your surveyors all reports are sup- 
posed to go through you ? They should go 
through me, and do as a rule, except in cases of 

Lord Muskerry continued. 

2334. Have you seen a report of Mr. Howell's 
evidence ? I have read it. 

2335. Tlie evidence where he stated that you 
were so few in number that a number of ships 
might go to sea without your seeing them ? I 
do not think that referred to South Wales 
because as a matter of fact there is nothing goes 
to sea from Cardiff, Barry and Penarth but what 
we have a record of. 

2336. But you have seen the vessels ? We 
have seen the vessels with a very few excep- 

2337. The "Margaret Mitchell" went from 
your district, I . believe ? Tlie " Margaret 
Mitchell" went. 

2238. How was it she was allowed to go to sea 
in such a state as was found to be the case ? 
She was not seen by any of the surveyors, unfor- 


2339. May I just ask you this: Were you a 
master before you were a surveyor or what were 
you before ? Yes ; I was a master mariner. 

2340. In command of ships a good many 
years ? In command of steamers. 

2341. In command of steamers 21 years ? 
Twenty-one years at sea. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 
Adjourned for a short time. 

Mr. THOMAS WALTON is called in; and Examined, as follows : 


2342. Are you a surveyor under the Board of 
Trade ? A shipwright Board of Trade surveyor. 

2343. Where are you surveyor t In Sunder- 

2344. Are you superintendent of others in the 
same capacity, or have you only Sunderland to 
look after ? My duty is principally confined to 

2345. Are vou solely responsible to the Board 
of Trade for detaining vessels there ? I am not 
a detaining officer. 

2346. Just describe what your duties are ? I 
visit the shipyards where new ships are building, 
measure ships for tonnage, watch ships in the 
river and docks as to their loading and general 
seaworthiness. Inspect crew spaces, lights and fog 
signals, and life-saving appliances, and deal with 
freeboard also. 

2347. Do you inspect ships coming in or 
going out of narbour ? I survey ships generally. 

2348. There is a detaining officer as well ? 
There is. 

2349. WTiat is your particular duty ? If I 
see a ship needing special attention or which 
requires detaining, I report the case to the 
detaining officer, or to the principal officer at 
North Shields, and he takes tne necessary steps. 

2360. Is there any other officer under him 
that docs the .same thing as you in a different 
department ? There is. There are two others 
in the Sunderland office in addition to myself 
under the detaining officer. 

2351. Are they shipwrights ? No ; they are 
nj[ineer surveyors. 

Chairman continued. 

2352. Arc there master surveyors, too ? 
None in Sunderland. 

2353. What have you to sav on this question 
of vessels going to sea with insufficient ballast 
or improperly trimmed ships ? I see a con- 
siderable number of ships going out. Manv ships 
come to Sunderland in ballast and go out coal- 
laden. I cannot say I have ever seen a ship 
which has arrived in in such a condition that I 
could distinctly say she was under-ballasted. 
I have my own idea as to what an ideal 
ballasted condition is, but I could not possibly 
detain a ship because she did not come up to 
that ideal. Most ships nowadays have a double 
bottom, so that in some degree every steamer 
that comes in is ballasted, and in addition to the 
double bottom, there are often peak tanks also at 
the ends of vessels, in which they can accom- 
modate a certain amount of ballast which is 
useful for trimming purposes. 

2354. You do not see many ships coming in 
and fewer going out in ballast that is on 
account of tlie nature of the port ? I see a fair 
number of ships coming in in ballast, and a less 
number going out in that condition. 

2355. You do not see many coming in that 
.you consider unsafe on account of the insuffi- 
cient ballast ? Not that I should really say wore 
unsafe ; not that would endanger life. 

2356. Would there be many so ballasted as to 
be unmanageable in a heavy sea and in heavy 
weather ? Of course, laden ships may sometimes 
become unmanageable at sea. There are many of 
these ve-ssels, which perhaps with the amount of 



24 March 1903.] 

Mr. Walton. 


Chairman continued, 
ballast they have, might under certain conditions 
of severe stress of weather, become unmanageable, 
but 1 could not take action at the time the ship 
left, assuming that she would encounter such a 
condition of weather, or stop her or report the case. 

2357. If a ship comes in safely, and although 
you might think her insufficiently ballasted you 
might not take anv notice ? If I considered her 
unsafe I should. 

2358. She has arrived safely and that may 
make a difference ? Many ships arriving with 
water ballast in double bottoms, pump this water 
out as they come in. They are m a great hurry 
to get away and we do not always get a chance 
of seeing them in their best condition. 

2359. The very fact of their coming in safe 
would not dispose you to interfere much ? If 
they come in safely I do not see that I can do 

2360. Do you hear much about this question 
of the light load line among masters and owners 
of ships ? I hear a great deal about it in the ship- 
yards in which I do duty, particularly in the 
large yards I visit. The Sunderland district is 
divided out amongst the surveyors. At present, 
of the cargo vessels under construction in the 
yards I visit, I should say that nearly three- 
fourths of them are being fitted with very large 
deep midship tanks in addition to double 
bottoms. I find the shipbuilders are taking 
this matter up most energetically, and I know 
in more than one case the shipbuilder is strongly 
recommending the owner to adopt one-third of 
the dead weight for water-ballast. I am not 
sure myself that I would recommend that as a 
rule throughout. 

2361.' You are now speaking of ships not yet 
finished, or that are being built ? Ships being 

2362. Are there many which were afloat 
before this change in the policy of the ship- 
builders took place that really have not got 
sufficient guarantees, sufficient ballast for safety ? 
Most of the vessels afloat built during late 
years at any rate have the double-bottom 
ballast and probably the peak tanks also. Even 
during the last 20 years it has been a frequent 
practice to fit double-bottom tanks. 

2363. Are there not ships built before that 
time still sailing? Yes, but although double- 
bottom tanks were in existence before that time, 
they have become much more prevalent during 
later years. I also find that some vessels i built 
in the port, are coming back to the builders, in 
order to have deep midships tanks fitted in 
addition to the double-bottom. There is one 
such case at the present time. 

2364. Is there a groat movement in that 
direction? I think a decided movement. 

2365. Affecting a good many ships ? Certainly. 
The new ships are much more ntted with the 
large mid-ship tanks than before. I think what- 
ever danger there has been from insufficient 
ballasting has reached its maximum and it is 
now on the decline. 

2366. Do you often hear the opinion of masters 
now sailing that their ships are not sufficiently 
ballasted ? I have never had a master complain 
to me aV>out his ship being under-ballasted. 

2367. You do not know what the opinion is 
amongst them ? I visit their ships regularly 

Chairman continued. 

and I presume if they considered their ships 
were dangerous they would say something. Sailors 
sometimes write anonymous letters if their crew- 
spaces are not satisfactory, and I visit such 
snips and attend to that. I have had no such 
letter to me I do not know whether any other 
surveyor in the port has -pointing out a ship to 
be under- ballasted. 

2368. I suppose you can hardly say what the 
opinion of other surveyors like yourself or Board 
of Trade surveyors is on the subject ? As far as 
I have been able to ascertain, I . think generally 
ships are ballasted in such a way as to be sea- 

Lord Muskerry. 

2369. They call you a shipwright but I 



believe you are more one of the 
department now-a-days ? Yes. 

2370. With general knowledge of the 
struction of ships, and their hulls and 
fittings ? That is so. 

2371. First ot all, you sa_y your duty as a 
surveyor if you see a ship in an unseaworthy 
condition is to report to the detaining officer ? 

2372. While that report is going to the de- 
taining officer, it is quite possible that that ship 
may sail ? But we have a detaining officer in 
the port in the same office. 

2373. Have you ever known a ship being 
detained from insufficient ballast ? I have never 
known of a case. 

2374. Coming back to what you said about 
these new ships being built with deep tanks, 
about how long is it since that was started not 
very many years ago, is it? I cannot speak 
definitely or accurately, but I should think the 
deep tank commenced probably towards 10 years 

2375. So long as that ? I think so. 

2376. I am not speaking of peak tanks ? No, 
mid-ship deep tanks. 

2377. As long as 10 years ago? I think 
there would be deep tanks in existence then. 

2378. Did not that show that the danger of 
ships not having sufficient ballast was realised ? 
I do not know that it really pointed to a 
danger. I think shipowners recognised the fact 
that their ships were suffering from delayed 
voyages, and they were expensive in that way, 
and It was found to be more economical to 
ballast their ships more efficiently. 

2379. Of course you have had no practical 
experience at sea ? Not as a sea-going officer. 

2380. So you only speak from the builder's 
point of view ? Chiefly so. 

2381. Even then would not you imagine that 
a ship with only a double bottom full of water 
would be unmanageable in bad weather a 
steamer, for instance, with a propeller not 
sufficiently immersed and showing a great 
side ? It is possible that a vessel with only 
double-bottom ballast might become unmanage- 
able under stress of weather. 

2382. Is it not only possible but certain ? 
Not absolutely certain, because many of the 
older type of vessels have a very great rise of 
floor ana are much narrower in design, and are 
very much finer towards the ends. The result 
is that when in absolutely light condition they 
have con.siderablc immersion. 

2383. I am 



24 March 1903.] 

Mr. Walton. 


Lord Miiskerry continued. 

2383. I am speaking of the Hat-bottom, 
vessel built for the ptist nine or ten years 
without these centre tanks ? I think ship- 
owners are recognising the desirability of having 
the deep tanks. As I pointed out, a ship is 
back at present having a new deep tank put 
in, and I find vessels crossing the Atlantic 
are carrying double-bunker coal, excess bunker 
coal in order more efficiently to immerse them ; 
the bunker coal is provided for the return 

2384. We have had it in evidence here that 
there is a class of steamers one of the witnesses 
called speculative steamers, built by the builders 
with simply their cellular double bottom and no 
provision of deep tanks. Are there not a class 
of steamers like that running now ? In dull 
times ship-builders do build steamers as a 
speculation in the hope of selling them. 

2385 There are such steamers running now ? 
There are such steamers. 

2386. Have you never heard a complaint on 
that north-east coast of any of these steamers 
being under-ballasted and unmanageable ? I 
have heard of them being unmanageable. 

2387. Have you never seen these colliers go 
down with the whole of their bows stuck out of 
the water those with the engine and boiler 
right aft, and the nose stuck right out of the 
water ? I have seen them in that way. 

2388. Do you think those vessels, in even a 
moderate breeze, could keep off the land ? 
They are certainly difficult to manage under 
stress of weather, but I think the defect is 
being remedied. I think shipowners are recog- 
nising this fact. 

2389. You have told us you find some of the 
old vessels coming in to have deep tanks fitted ; 
ar<> not there a very great number still running 
in which the owners are not putting deep tanks ? 
There are a number of vessels without deep 

2390. Therefore they are unseaworthy un- 
manageable in bad weather ? It does not follow 
that they are unseaworthy because they are 

2391. 1 disagree with you there entirely ? 
A laden vessel may become unmanageable, and 
often does and goes ashore. 

2392. There must be something carried away 
in a laden vessel to make her immanageable ? 
We had a Sunderland vessel, the " Ottercaps," 
which I understand was laden, and she was 
driven ashore in a recent gale about three weeks 

2393. But was there anything carried away in 
her ? We do not know ; all hands were lost. 

2394. You cannot jtell ; the steering-gear might 
have carried away. She was a steamer ? A 

2395. The steering-gear might have carried 
away ? It may have been so. 

2396. Or a break down in the eneine room ? 
It was very severe weather, and any vessel might 
be in difficulties. 

2397. Other vessels, wc understand, are driven 
on shore with every pnri of their gear intact. 
Have you heard of that ' Vessels in ballast ? 

2398. Yes ? The cases are veiy rare. 

2399. Rare in your district ? 

Lord Inverclyde. 

2400. Do you think it is to the general interest 
of shipowners that their vessels should be 
properly ballasted or run the risk of running 
speculative ships ? I think it is to their general 
interest that they should be better ballasted. I 
think the mid-ship deep tank, in addition to the 
double-bottomed, is the best system of ballast- 
ing, but owners have a great objection to it 
because it interferes with the stowage of cargoes. 
Down the middle, the Registration Societies 
insist on a longitudinal bulkhead ; that is because 
these vessels nave been known to go to sea, and, 
through gross carelessness, the tanks were not 
full of water, but one partially full, and the 
effect of such large volumes of free water may 
be very serious indeed. . I think if owners 
insisted upon their masters having these 
tanks thoroughly filled, and especially if they 
had a means oi feeding them, that middle line 
bulkhead could be done without. It is not a 
necessity at all. If the tank is absolutely full 
of water there is no need for it, and the griev- 
ance that many owners complain of could be 
done away with, and the taiik could be better 
used for cargo. 

2401. Then it rests with masters generally, as 
far as you know, as to the amount they put into 
these tanks ? Thev ought never to go to sea 
with a tank partially filled ; it ought always to 
be filled, because free water is a very dangerous 
thing in any ship. 

Viscount Ridley. 

2402. How long have you been a shipwright 
surveyor ? Nearly five years. 

2403. During that time have you had anv 
vessels going in ballast out of Sunderland, whict 
have come to grief ? I do not know of a single 
case. I do not remember one. 

Lord Shand. 

2404. I understood you to say that vessels all 
went fully laden out of your port ? I do not say 
all, but a very large proportion of them do 
regular traders. 

2405. If .such a thing as a vessel in ballast 
goes at all, it is quite an exception, so far as your 
port is concerned ? I think you might almost 
say it is an exception. They do go out in 

2406. Very few ? Yes ; few. 

2407. As to those coming into port ; it is no 
matter if they be light ballasted, if they are 
coming into port for the purpose of getting a 
load ? AA'Tien coming in you have not a good 
chance to judge, because as I have said, the 
ballast is often pumped out. 

2408. But there is no real danger at that time, 
they have come into the port for loading ? 

2409. You said something about a principle or 
rule, which you thought would be a good rule, 
with regard to the way of ballasting. What is 
your idea which that proportion should be com- 
pared with the dead weight of the vessel ? I 
think, mvself, that one-third of the dead weight 
is not a bad rule, but I think it could be worked 
in a simpler way. For instance I have worked 
out a number of cargo vessels, and I find one- 
third of the dead weight will immerse a vessel 
to over 50 per cent of her load draught 55 per 
cent. I think is about what I make it. 

2410. That 



24 March 1903.] 

Mr. Walton. 


Lord Shand continued. 

2410. That you think qiiite a proper amount ? 
One-third of dead weight will include the 
bunkers, with which she goes out. I should be 
inclined to recommend that the minimum 
draught be limited to say .50 per cent., of 
the deep load draught, ignoring bunkers. 
I think 50 per cent, will make a very 
good minimum draught. Then the shipoAvner 
can put such bunkers in as he likes. I certainly 
think a recommendation from some source 
or other might be of assistance to the owfners, 
because I often hear the question asked, how 
much ballast would you consider necessary to 
most efficiently ballast a ship ? To compell them 
U) have a line I do not agree with, but I think a 
recommendation might be made which would be 
useful and acceptable to them. 

2411. That I suppose would come from the 
Board ot Trade ? Not necessarily from the 
Board of Trade. The Registration Societies 
could do that if they were approached. 

2412. If they chose? Yes, if they were 
approached and they chose. 

2413. That is the ratio you think ? I think 
that would make a very satisfactory ballast con- 
dition a minimum of .50 per cent., allowing the 
vessel to trim to some extent by the stern to 
get the propeller reasonably immersed. 

2414. You think some rule of that kind would 
be of value, even to shipowners ? I would not 
give that as an exact rule. It is only an approxi- 
mation. The danger to a ship in ballast is that 
she will drive ashore. The more high-side she 
has out of water, the more wind pressure she 
will be exposed to, and that ought to be taken 
into account. But as a general average working 
rule, I think a minimum of 50 per cent, load 
draught would work very well. It is easily 
checked, because you have the marks at the 
stem and stem, giving the draughts at which 
the vessel is floating. 

2415. Checked without a load line? What 
you would require to know is her load draught. 

Lord Muskerry. 

2416 You would require to have the table of 
the ship's measurements in that case ? It would 
not be a difficult matter to find out what her 
freeboard was. 

2417. It would mean a calculation ? It would 
mean a slight calculation. 

2418. If you had not. that deep load line would 
you attempt to detain any ves.sel unless her 
decks were really ? Certainly. 

2419. If you had not that line if it was 
washed away ? We do interfere with ships now 
that have not got the line on at all. 

2420. They must be very low down ? No. If 
they look suspicious as we go up the river or 
round the docks we measure them. 

2421. Those are foreigners ? Yes, foreigners 

Lord ahand. 

2422. Have you ever reported a case to the 
detaining officer for his consideration A case of 
under-ballasting ? Never. 

2423. Then nave they all been ballasted to 
that extent that you, have ajready given us of 
the amount of dead weight as they passed under 

Lord Shand continued. 

your knowledge ? I am not a detaining officer, 
and my duty takes me very largely to the ship 
yards. I do not see the vessels coming in to a 
very great extent. Part of my time is spent 
going round the docks and river, but mostly I 
am employed in the shipyards. 

2424. So you have not occasion to see under- 
ballasted vessels in the same way ? Not all of 

2425. Or to the same extent ? Or to the same 

Lord Wolverton. 

2426. I take it from your general evidence you 
do not think a load-line is necessary. You think 
this evil which has been spoken of is righting 
itself ? I think it is rapidly righting itself, judg- 
ing by what I see at the present time of ships 
building with the extra ballast accomodation. 

2427. And the cases that come under your 
notice are where owners are increasing their own 
protection by putting in more water ballast < 
Yes, and I find builders too are urging owners to 
that decision. 

2428. You do not think there is any need tor 
legislation ? Not for legislation. 

Lord Sliaiid. 

2429. When you say not for legislation, what 
is the qualification in your mind ; do you mean 
for regulation ? That there should not be a com- 
pulsory light load line. 

2430. That is all you mean ? I think a recom- 
metidation would be to the advantage of both 
both underwriters and shipowners. 

2431. A recommendation to what eflect ? As 
to a certain percentage of the deep load draught. 
I have simply given my own idea of and ideal 
ballast condition for ordinary cargo steamers. 
It is very simple, and in my opinion is a good 
approximation ; some such recommendation 
might be made, I think, for general guidance. 

2432. How would that be carried out ? Could 
it be easily carried out without having the load- 
line marked ? Of couse the load line might 
represent your recommendation. Could it be 
carried out without a load line by detaining 
officers ? This ideal condition of ballasting 
would be a matter more for the master and ship- 
owner than for the detaining officer. It could 
be carried o^t in the way I have suggested, 
by taking a percentage of the load draught 
which is easily got at with the marks on the 
stem and stem visible to everyone. By such a 
rule a vessel could easily be checked. 

2433. Without a load line ? Without a light 

2434. What is your idea. Would the recom- 
mendation bo made by the Board of Trade? 
Not necessarily by the Board of Trade. I think 
the Registration Societies might possibly be 
inclined to make it, or the Institute of Naval 
Architects might suggest an efficient ballast 

2435. You want this voluntary suggestion, 
not a compulsory, parliamentary enactment ? 
A purely voluntary suggestion. I should suggest 
it simply for the guidance of shipowners. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 



24 Marcfi 1903. 

Mb. FRANCIS YEOMAN, is called in ; and Examined, as follows : 


2436. 1 THINK you are from West Hartlepool ? 

JL S. 

2437. Have you been in business for some 
years, connected with shipping ? I have been in 
business as a ship-broker tor about 40 years, and 
manager of steamers for about 21 years. 

2438. Manager in what capacity, manager of a 
company ? No single ships. Six separate stea- 
mers I have been manager of since the year 

2439. As the agent of the owner ? Nq, as the 
managing owner. The ships being what are 
called sixty-fourth steamers, the shares being 
held by the managing owners and shareholders 
in the country. 

2440. You are also Secretary to the Hartle- 
pools Shipowners' Society ? Yes, I have held 
that position since 1885, and I appear to give 
evidence on behalf of the Society. 

2441. What do you represent? There are 
208 steamers in the Society of 550,000 gross tons 
There are no sailing ships in the Society. 

2442. Are these all cargo-carriers ? -All, and 
about a dozen cany passengers also. They are 
ordinary cargo-boats which nave been referred to 
as tramp steamers before this Committee, so that 
a question of light load line is one which specially 
interests the members of my Society. 

2443. Did you give evidence before the Royal 
Commission on Loss of Life at Sea on the subject 
of a deep load line ? Yes, in June 1885. At 
tliat time the deep load line was demanded for 
the reason that loss of life at sea was said to be 
heavy and increasing. There had been very 
heavy gales in 1881 and 1883, leading to heavy 
loss of life at sea and the then President of 
the Board of Trade urged the enactment of a 
deep load line because of this heavy life loss. 

2444. What do you wish to say about the 
necessity for a light load line ? That no case 
whatever has been made out, so far as can be 
seen, for State interference, on the ground of loss 
of life, Avhich alone can justify sucn interference 
with the management of a trade, and I propose 
to show this more clearly hereafter, especially as 
regards the class of steamers which I more 
particularly represent. 

Lord Mxtsherry. 

2445. The six single ships ? No, the 208 in 
the Society or that type of steamer generally. 

Lord Wolverton. 

2446. You are speaking on their behalf? 

Lord Mnakf.rry 

2447. How many passenger vessels ? About 


2448. Does the deep load line apply to foreign 
vessels ? It does, on leaving ports of the United 
Kingdom in theory, but speaking generally as 
toucliing foreign vessels it is virtually a dead 
letter in fact. 

Chairman continued. 

2449. Can you tell wliat the result of that 
enactment was on vessels registered at Hartle- 
pool ? 136 steamers have since been sold to 
foreigners. At this moment no less than 30 
steamers owned and managed in the Hartlepools 
are sailing under foreign flags. They, of course, 
employ foreign to the entire exclusion of British 
crews. The deep load line has no operation in 
the case of foreign vessels arriving at ports in the 
United Kingdom or when trading to other parts 
of the world. 

2450. But it does apply to ships going out ? 
Yes the law applies to them. 

2451. Frequently or not ? The law of course 
always applies, but our feeling is as a matter of 
fact our experience is that when we have sold 
a ship to a foreign ov^Tier, one of the first things 
he does is to black out the British load line, and 
she no more carries a load line. 

Lord Muskerry. 

2452. She would be no longer insured in any 
English company ? I am not aware with respect 
to that. I think some of them do insure in 
English companies. 


2453. Had the allegations a^ to unseaworthi- 
ness with respect to the deep load line, in your 
opinion, any other prejudicial eifect on British 
shipping ? At the time it most seriously pre- 
judiced the public against shipping as an invest- 
ment from which it has only recently been 
recovering, and, if persisted in, I feel sure a similar 
result would arise from the present agitation. 

2454. Do you mean as to the deep load line ? 
No, as to the light line. 

2455. If it is extended to the light load 
line ? If the allegations go forth that our 
shipping is unseaworthy in consequence of the 
light load line, naturally in the country there 
is a shrinking from having anything to do 
with it. 

2456. Your society has, I presume, considered 
the question of alleged under-ballasting of 
steamers and the Light Load Line Bill ? The 
members have several times discussed Lord 
Muskerry's proposed Bill and its probable effect. 
They consider it unnecessary and impracticable. 
They consider it exceedingly difficult, in fact, 
practically impossible to frame a satisfactory 
standard of minimum loading, looking to the 
constant evolution in cargo-steamers, their 
differing sizes and types, the different trades in 
which they are employed, and the varying 
seasons of the year. 

2457. Have you looked into the question with 
regard to the loss of life ? I have looked into 
the question from the point of view of life loss. 
I have examined the official records in the wreck 
abstracts for the past 10 years and find that 
from merchant steamers and sailing vessels 
registered in the [Jnited Kingdom, from wreck 
or casualty to the vessel and oy accident to the 
men other than by wreck' or casualty to the vessel 
at sea, and in rivers and harbours there have 




24 March 1903.] 

Mr. Yeoman. 


Chairman continued. 

been 16,635 deaths as per Return A. which I 
would Uke to hand in. I have endeavoured to 
put these tables as simply as possible to show at 
a glance how the life loss has arisen. 

Lord Shand. 

2458. Has this been done by the Board of 
Trade .' I believe so. Mr. Howell has practi- 
cally been over this ground. 


2459. I think it i hardly necessary to have it 
again if we get it stated in the Board of Trade 
Returns ? 1 thought it would be of interest. 

2460. I think we have that before us, and 
perhaps 1 may pass on to some other points of 
your evidence ? If you will allow me there is 
not much of the statistical here, and I work 
it down to the missing steamers gi'adually. I have 
an object in that if you will allow me to run it 
through. Of these 16,635 8,859 lives were lost 
in steamers, 6,008 being lost at sea and 2,851 in 
rivers and harbours. By total loss of the vessel 
3,839 lives were lost from 271 steamers, 
and of these, only 26 steamers represent- 
ing 244 deaths were from steamers in ballast. 
The Board of Trade returns give the following 
particulars of these cases. 

2461. We have had that in the Board of 
Trade Returns before. Now about the number 
ot men employed ? There are about 3,765 
steamers registered in the United Kingdom of 
500 tons net register and upwards and about 
156,000 men are employed on them. I estimate 
that there are in all about 5,700 steamers regis- 
tered in the United Kingdom, representuig about 
71 million net tons in the area covered by Table A. 
I hand in a Return B, setting out in detail 
the ships from which the 244 lives were lost. 
Incidentally I would like to name that I 
got out the working in mileage of the 3,765 
steamers as 150,000,000 miles of steaming in a 
year. I got that out with the idea of showing 
the work done by the steamers on the one hand, 
and I wish to illustrate how small had been the 
life lost in the other direction. I can then go into 
an elucidation of the reasons for the life loss as 
per Tables that which I propose to hand in. 

2462. What do you say about that ? First, 
there are the collisions, which are responsible 
for 43 lives, and it may be assumed tnat the 
question of unde. ballasting had nothing to do 
with these. Second, the founderings are respon- 
sible for seven cases with 54 lives. One of these 
was a tug, another a little vessel of 63 tons, two 
were dredgers, and one was a tank steamer. The 
tank-steamer has, of course, means if she pleases 
of practically loading herself with water. About 
these there can be no question of under- 
ballasting. As to the remaining two, there is 
no evidence whatever that they were in any 
way cau.sed by under-ballasting, but to the 

Lord Muskerry. 

2463. Having too much in, do you mean ? 
No, but that other causes conduced to their loss. 


2463.*Thirdly, there were nine cases of strand- 
ing responsible for 104 lives lost Of these, one 
was a fish-carrier, the other two were small 


Chairman continued. 

steamers in which under-ballasting can scarcely 
be expected to be a factor. The " Stella " was 
a well equipped passenger steamer which struck 
a rock on passage from Southampton to Guern- 
sey under circumstances which no doubt your 
Lordships will well remember. Under-ballasting 
had nothing to do with her loss, and there are 
only therefore five steamers remaining under 
this heading in which under-ballasting may 
have contributed to the loss. In the case of 
the steamship " Kaisari " she was lost in a 
cyclone. No one was held to blame, but the 
Court said, though she had sufficient ballast 
for ordinary weather she had not enough for 
the hurricane season in those seas. It may well 
be asked hoAv the proposed Light Load Line Bill 
would prevent a case like that, for, I presume, 
it is not intended to ballast all ships to meet 
exceptional hurricanes. As to the other four, 
one "the St. Helens" was also a tank-steamer 
whilst no evidence of under-ballasting is forth- 
comine as to the other three, and it is probable 
that the loss of these vessels was attributable 
either to inevitable accident or to the still 
commoner cause, in cases of stranding, of 
error of navigation. Six out of the nine 
steamers of any size under the headings 
of foundering and stranding were built about 
1880 of iron and with a good co-efficient 
and would have a good hold of the water. 
Fourthly, there are but three missing vessels 
which are responsible for the loss of 43 lives. 
One was a steamer of but 25 tons register, and 
two were dredgers. To none of these three 
would the proposed light load line apply. All 
of these are returned as steam vessels and in 
ballast. Their loss, however, is in no sense any 
reflection on the cargo-carrying steamers of this 
country, and the Committee will not fail to note 
carefully that not one single cargo-steamship in 
ballast has been returned as missing during the 
last 10 years, although they have been sub- 
jected to all the perils and storms of the sea. 
It is a wonderful record and one which speaks 
volumes for the general care with which British 
steamers are managed and navigated. The 
opinion of my society on these facts is that no 
case whatever has been, or can be, made out for 
this Light Load Line Bill on the ground of 
public danger, and that the records conclusively 

[)rove that there is practical immunity from lire 
OSS in ballast steamers; showing that ship- 
owners generally send their steamers to sea, in 
ballast trim, in a safe and seaworthy condition. 

2464. Are shipowners generally giving more 
attention to ballasting ? For some time past 
they have been giving close attention to it. I 
have examined the voyages of a few Hartlepool 
steamers proceeding across the Atlantic in 
ballast during the past three years. Twenty 
were made in summer and ten in winter, and 
I find they haa an average of about 33 per cent, 
of their dead weight capacity in ballast and 
bunker coals. 

2465. What was the size of those steamers ? 
From 2,800 to 6,260 tons dead weight. 

2466. Can you give any estimate of the pro- 
portion of ballast voyages in cargo-steamers ? 
A cargo vessel's ordinary steaming is about 
40,000 miles per annum, one-fourth to one-half 

T being 



24 March 1903.] 

Mr. Yeoman. 


Cfiairman continued. 

being in ballast, according to the trade in which 
she is emploped. 

2467. Can von give any particulars of the 
entries and clearances of British and foreign 
steamers in the ports of the United Kingdom ? 
As indicating the enormous volume of me ship- 
ping trade I would point out that there were 
si.\ty million tons of entries and clearances of 
British steamers at ports in the United Kingdom 
alone in 1891 to say nothing of the trading of 
such shipping elsewhere. About thirty million 
tons of foreign steamers also entered and cleared 
which is about one-half of the British tonnage 
and, therefore, a factor which cannot possibly be 
ignored in considering the eft'ect of any special 
legislation afiecting British shipping which would 
not, and could not, equally apply to foreign vessels. 

2468. Is the bulk of the homeward American 
trade by cargo steamers done by those proceeding 
outward in ballast ? That is so, up to tne present 
year, and, therefore, more than one-half the 
of the steaming of such vessels has been in 

2469. Have you anything to say as to the im- 
portance to cargo - carrjnng steamers of their 
water ballast ? If tramp steamers were com- 
pelled, in their short passages say from the 
Continent to the United Kingdom to take sand 
or other hard ballast, they would thereby be 
rendered comnierciall}- useless. In shipping 
time is essentially money, and the ability of 
these tramp steamers to live, especially in 
such times as the present, is dependent upon 
their being able to leave port immediately tneir 
cargoes are discharged and being ready to load 
immediately on arrival. If any such light load 
line as has been suggested to this Committee 
were adopted, the owners of existing steamers 
would either have to adapt their vessels for 
water-ballast, at very great cost, or take sand or 
other material. In many cases it is commercially 
impracticable to fit water-ballast tanks to 
existing steamers; whilst the difficulty, delay, 
and cost of obtaining material ballast renders 
that course practically prohibitive, particularly 
for short voyages. 

2470. \Vhat would be the cost and expenses 
incurred in shipping and discharging say 
500 tons of material ballast ; The cost of 
obtaining this at a Continental port and dis- 
charging at a United Kingdom port, with other 
expenses of detention, would represent about 
200i. per voyage. 

247 1 . Have you ever experienced any difficulty 
in procuring hard ballast ? At West Hartlepool 
the Dock Company usually requires about a 
week's notice, and when that notice has been 
given it is very often difficult to obtain even 
150 tons. 

2472. In addition to the cost and delay, have 
you any other objection to sand or other material 
ballast ? There is the difficulty in preventing it 
.shifting, also the risk of choking pipes, inc., 
through the ballast getting into the bilges. 

2473. Is it necssary, in your opinion, to ballast 
steamers crossing the North Sea, say, to the 
-same extent as for crossing the Atlantic ? Most 
certainly not. It is unrea.sonable to demand 
such ballasting for ordinary short passages and 
normal conditions as alone would be demanded 
for the longest and most dangerous voyages 

Cha irman continued. 

under the worst possible conditions of season 
and weather. These passages are short, and 
in case of need the vessels can, and do, take 
shelter at various points until the weather 
moderates, and aassistance, in case of accident, 
is usually near at hand. 

2474. Do you think coasting steamers are less 
or more liable to accidents on account of under- 
ballasting ? Less, because they are mostly iron 
steamers, and therefore heavier ; they have 
finer lines and good speed to enable them to 
make quick passages. These coasting steamers 
have a wonderful immunity firom life loss. 

2475. Have insurance premiums on tramp 
steamers risen or fallen lately ? They have 
fallen, thus testifying at least to the belief of 
underwriters that such steamers are gradually 
becoming safer. 

2476. Safer on account of their carrying more 
ballast ? I do not know that so far as our 
experience of the premiums has gone over the 
years they have gradually lessened 

2477. Do you think the cases of damage to 
shafts and propellers are likely to increase or 
decrease ? These accidents are decreasing, 
and I feel sure they will continue to do so. 
When steel vessels were first built, perhaps too 
much allowance was made for the new material, 
both in hull and machinery, but this, as the 
result of experience gained over the years, is 
gradually being remedied. 

2478. Do you think shipowners themselves 
are likely in the future to provide increased 
water ballast ? Attention having recently been 
drawn to it, by the request for this Inquiry and 
serious detention of steamers in making their 
voyages, shipowners, in building new steamers, 
will doubtless make, and indeed are making, 
provision for increased water ballast capacity. 

2479. How do you sum up your evidence ? I 
may say that at our last meeting I read this 
evidence to the members present, and asked 
them if they thought I was justified in tendering 
this evidence on their behalf, and the evidence 
offered to this Committee was by that meeting 
endorsed. The conclusions we come to on the three 
questions submitted to the Committee are as fol- 
lows : (1). That in view of the immunity from life 
loss, British steamers are not sent to sea in an 
unsea worthy condition by reason of their being 
insufficiently or improperly ballasted. (2). That 
no alteration of the law is necessary. (3). That 
from their experience of the deep load line, if 
any such alteration was made applicable to 
foreign vessels, it would practically oe a dead 
letter, and never, or hardly ever, be enforced 
against them. 

Lord Muakerry. 

2480. You are not in favour, as some witnesses 
have been, of a light load line, provided it is 
applied to foreign vessels ? We can only be 
guided by our experience in the case of foreign 
vessels as touching the deep load line, and we 
find whilst the letter of the law is there, practi- 
cally it is neglected. 

2481. You have given some evidence as to the 
transfer of ships after the deep load line was 
settled to foreigners. Do you believe that is the 
case in other ports besides the one you are 




24 March 1903.] 

Mr. Yeoman. 


Lord Mtiskerry continued. 

conversant with ? Perhaps not to the same 
extent as it is in our own port. 

2482. Are there any particular reasons why 
that should be done more in your port than in 
others ? I do not know that there are. I trans- 
ferred one ship myself to a foreign flag 
in our own port, and to me as a shipowner it 
Wiis exceedingly better to have at least one 
inland letter written to me asking me if this 
ship was going to be transferred to the foreign 
flag, if so the gentleman who wrote the letter 
wished to take shares in the ship under her new 
ownership. I had to ^vrite and tell him she 
was going to be transferred to the foreign flag, 
and practically assisted him in taking shares 
in this ship under the new regime. 

2483. What flag was she transferred to ? The 
Norwegian. His statement to me in this same 
letter was that he had shares in ships under the 
foreign flag, and shares in ships under the British 
flag, and the ships under the foreign flag were 
able to do better than the ships under the 
liritish flag. 

2484. How far is West Hartlepool from 
Sunderland ? About 20 miles to the south. 

248.5. Do you know Captain Pinkney of the firm 
of Pinkney and Company, who own eight large 
steamers ? Yes. 

2486. He stated at the meeting of the Sunder- 
land Shipowners' Society that a light load line 
was also a serious matter and one which they 
would all have to deal with when buying new 
ships ; that it was sure to come and they would 
have to adopt a light load line. Does not that 
seem to mean that he and that society saw there 
was some reason in it ? I think at least one or 
more while I have been in this room 
to-day have stated that to these ships, as I have 
put m my own evidence, time is essentially 
money. I do not suppose these ships as a rule 
have Dcen built, as I think your Lordship men- 
tioned this afternoon, prior to 1894 or 1895. Tliat 
is only a lapse of nine years, and meanwhile 
shipowners nave felt, from a money-making 
standpoint, the difficulty of these ships, and in 
all probability from that standpoint alone a pure 
matter of seli-interest, theV nave come to the 
conclusion that ships would be better adapted 
if they had more water ballast. 

2487. As to these ships you are managing, 
have you put or are you putting in deep tanks ? 
No. The last witness I think mentioned that 
in certain trades there is exceeding dithculty in 
that. He mentioned one ship that was being 
adapted with deep tanks amidships at the 
present moment. That may be a ship in certain 
trades ; it might be the coal trade or grain trade 
in which coal and grain could be carried in those 
tanks when the ship was loaded, or something of 
that kind, and they would be no detriment to 
her. But in the ordinary cargo steamer she 
has perhaps OT-ain one voyage, then timber, then 
40 teet rails, and j'ou never know from 
one voyage to the other what cargo you may 
have to carry. If you had the tank amid- 
ships it would materially interfere with the 
storage of such cargoes as rail cargoes, or say 
timber cargoes, from the States, in which many 
steamers are now employed, and this naturally 
makes an owner shnnk from doing anvthinjj 

(0.3.) ^ ' ^ 

Lord Muskerry continued. 

which would hurt the carrying capacity of his 

2488. Are your six ships of the modern flat 
bottom type? Two of them were built in 1894 
and 1895 respectively. 

2489. They are probably that type ? They 
were not. It began really after we built those 
two steamers. 

2490. What about the other four ? Two were 
built in 1882, one built m 1889, and the other 
in 1895. 

2491. In your evidence you spoke about 
collisions, and you remarked that the cause of 
the collisions should in no way be attributed to 
under ballasting ? Yes. 

2492. Is it not a very well-known thing 
that a ship under-ballasted so much as to 
be unmanageable is a very fruilfril cause of 
collisions ? I have never heard of a case. I 
have watched these life-loss statistics for nearly 
30 years certainly 20 years. 

2493. I am not speaking of life lost. Collision 
does not necessarily involve loss of life ? I have 
never heard of under-ballasting having con- 
tributed to collision. 

2494. You mentioned about missing ships. 
You do not call those ships which are stranded 
missing ? Certainly not. 

2495. There have been a good number of 
strandings, even lately. There was the " Buck- 
inghamshire " the other day ? My point there 
is this. We find that one-fourth to one-half of 
the trade of cargo steamers admittedly unduly 
certified and seaworthy vessels is done in 
ballast. We find a certain life-loss with 
cargo, and I think a natural assump- 
tion might be, that we should expect to 
find a corresponding life-loss, at least, from 
ballasted trading steamers, which, say, would be 
at least one-fourth, instead of which we not only 
do not find one-fourth, but practtically we only 
find one-sixteenth. 

2496. Statistics are sometimes very misleading. 
You are taking the whole shipping trade of the 
kingdom ? Yes. 

2497. In that you include such lines as the 
Cunard, and all these big liners which never ga 
out in ballast, and which always have cargo both 
ways ? Certainly. 

2498. Then you take the ballasted vessels, and 
you lump them together, and you draw a com- 
parison. I do not think that is the way to- 
obtain a conclusion ? Up to this present year, 
whn the American coal strike has given us the 
opportunity of carrying coals to the States, prac- 
tically all our Atlantic trading was done by 
steamers proceeding outwards in ballast that is, 
all the cargo steamers trading. 

2499. What we know as tramps, as Lord Bras- 
sey describes them, where you seek and find ? 

2500. You do not surely say they form the 
great bulk, if you compare the big lines and their 
tonnage ? The big lines are getting into a small 
compass in comparison with the total tonnage of 
the country. 

2501. Then you have to take sailing ships. I 
suppose you take in all cross-channel steamers, 

T 2 passenger 



24 March 1903.] 

Mr. Yeoman. 


Lord Miiskerry continued. 

passenger steamers ? They are a very small 

2502. ANTiat we understand from you is that 
you think there is no daneer to life from vessels 
going to sea insufficiently ballasted ? That is 
our position. 

2503, That is, a ship insufficiently ballasted 
does not give any danger to life ? No, we believe 
our ships are properly ballasted, that is the posi- 
tion we take, and that the belief is borne out by 
the statistics that we have endeavoured to pre- 
sent to your Lordships to-day. 

'^504. The other thing you go on, I suppose, is 
that English shipo\vners suffer under greater 
restrictions than foreigners? As touching the 
deep load line ? 

2505. Restrictions in general ? Yes. 

2506. Are you aware that a seaman under the 
German regulations will not be allowed to work 
more than ten hours a day, and in the tropics 
eight hours ? I have no luiowledge of it. 

2507. That is a much greater restriction than 
our shipowners have ? I have no knowledge of 
it. I onlv mean as touching the disability as to 
the deep load line. 

2508. And if a German seaman falls sick, his 
owners are responsible for his keep for six 
months ? I dare say that may be so. 

2509. In Norwav I believe there are no restric- 
tions. That woulcl account for your ship being 
transferred to the Norwegian flag ? We have 
another reason. 

2510. Let us have it by all means? My im- 
pressions is, the ships are bought to put under 
the foreign flag for two reasons. I have stated 
it before in public, and do not mind stating it 
again. The first reason is, that they can employ 
foreign seamen at 50s. a month instead of Zl. 10s. 
or U. paid by British steamers, and then carry 
the proportion of cargo which, under the Deep 
Load Lme Act, we were not allowed to carry. 

Lord Inverclyde. 

2511. Do you think there is any foundation 
for the evidence we have had given here, that 

Lord Inverclyde continued. 

no ship ballasted is in a fit condition to go to 
sea ? I am not aware of any such case. 

2512. With your experience of all the ships 
connected with your association, I suppose there 
have been a very large number of masters in 
those 20S ships spread over all those years ? A 
large number of masters. 

2513. If there was any general feeling such as 
we have heard of, that masters generally wished 
for the Light Load Line Bill, do you think that 
feeling would have existed without your knowing 
such a demand ? We must necessarily have 
heard of it. I never heard in our locality a hint 
of anthying of the kind. 

2514. You never heard of any difficulty of 
getting masters to go with these steamers con- 
nected with 3'our association ? I have never 
heard of it at all. 

2515. Siipposing there had been some neces- 
sity for a Light Load Line Bill, apart altogether 
from any recommendation made by this Com- 
mittee or anything else, do you say it would be 
in the general interest of ship owners themselves 
to have their vessels properly ballasted ? Un- 
doubtedly. I say the shipowners' self-interest 
in the question is such, that no shipowner can 
afford, if he can anything like foresee it to 
have his ship detained on a voyage, especially 
in such times as the present, because it does not 
matter what his employment njay be, he is for- 
timate if he escapes without losing money, and 
therefore any detention to him on the voyage 
means that risk to him. He has every incentive 
therefore in ensuring that his ship goes there and 
back as quickly and as safely as possible. 

2516. Supposing anything happens to his ship 
and he recovers the amount of the damage from 
the insurance company, does that at all com- 
pensate him or make it worth his while to run 
the risk of having the ship under-ballasted ? 
If a ship begins to happen with accidents she is 
no earthly use as an investment. The detention 
and such-like loss to shareholders generally is 
such that the ship's character is ruined for life. 
That is my experience, and that is, commonly 
accepted amongst shipowners. 

The witness is directed to mthdraw. 

Mr. JOHN FENWICK FEN WICK is called in; and Examined, as follows: 


2517. You are also a representative of ship- 
owners ? I am. 

2518. Tlie Committee do not want to multiply 
the same evidence over and over again. We 
have had two witnesses the last witness and 
the first witness who at great length stated 
their views. If you are going to give very much 
the same evidence, I merely ask vou if you agree 
with their evidence ? One" reason for my comino' 
here to-day is that a ship I am connected wit& 
has been mentioned* before your Lordships. 

Lord Sliand. 

2519. That surely is no reason, if you concur 
in all that has been said and have nothing fresh 

Lord SJixtnd continued. 

to tell us ? I have been engaged in the coasting 
trade for many years, and it might be of interest 
to your Lordships. I am in your Lordships' 


2520. We do not want to pile up the same 
evidence. You are one of the firm of Fen wick 
& Son, in London ? Yes. 

2521. You were President of the Chamber of 
Shipping in 1894 ? --Yes. 

2522. You are now and have been for the last 
eight years Vice - Chairman of the Shipping 
Federation ? Yes. 

2523. Do you agree generally with the view 




24 March 1903.] 

Mr. FiNwicK. 


Chairman continued . 

that has been given this morning by the rej)re- 
sentatives of the shipowners ? I do. I think 
the so-called tramp-steamers run very safely. I 
am principally engaged in the coasting trade. 

2524. Is there anything special you wish to 
draw our attention to without gomg over the 
whole ground ? No, I think not, except to state 
that my vessels on the whole have run very free 
from accident, considering the mileage they run. 

2525. Then you have nothing special? In 
answer to something that Lord Muskerry stated 

CJiairTnan continued. 

just now about the old-fashioned styles of 
steamers with engines aft, I should like to say 
1 have had to deal with 16 or 17 of those steamers, 
and they are about the safest ships to go to sea 
of any you could have. 

Lord Muskerry. 

2526. But they are most awkward ones to 
meet ? They run very safely. I have had great 
experience with them. 

The witness is directed to withdraw. 

Captain ARTHUR CLEMENT COOKE, is called in; and Examined, as follows: 


2527. What are vour qualifications ? I am I 
master mariner holding an extra master's certi- 
ficate of competency from the Board of Trade, I 
am at present the Secretary of the Mercantile 
Steam.ship Company, Limited, of which Sir John 
Glover, the Chairman of Lloyds' Registry is 

2528. What sea experience have you had ? 
I was at sea from the year 1869 to 1899. I 
served my apprenticeship in sailing ships and 
afterwards was in steamships from 1873 until I left 
the sea rising from junior mate up to master. I 
was 17 years in active command, always in cargo 
carrying steamships, the class of vessel which are 
generally referred to as tramp steamers. During 
that time I traded in all parts of the world under 
all conditions and have had I think I may fairly 
say a long and wide sea experience. 

2529. Have you had any experience of trading 
in steamers in ballast ? V^es, both whilst at sea 
and since I have left the sea. I should say 
roughly speaking that 25 per cent, of the 
passages made by me as master were in ballast 
and although I have made scores of passages in 
ballast I never had any casualty whilst in oallast 
nor did any loss of life occur whilst in ballast 
nor did any of my ships or crews suffer any 
casualties. I have sailed in ballast even in the 
worst of weather up and along dangerous coasts 
and narrow seas or waters, and across 
the Atlantic, and I have never either been 
blown on shore nor has the .shafting or 
propeller of my vessel sustained any damage. 
My steamers were ballasted in the ordinary 
manner as customary in the cargo trade. I am 
told that it has been stated before this Com- 
mittee that practically no cargo canying or 
tramp steamer goes to sea in a safe and sea- 
worthy manner as regards her ballasting, and 
that .she cannot keep off the shore in bad 
weather. In my opinion as a master of long 
experience this is an entirely untrue statement. 
I have myself experienced the contrary, and 
sailed under all the conditions of a steamship in 
ballast, encountering bad weather on my voyages, 
and yet have never experienced anv casualty. 

2530. Did you know of any otfier ships not 
your own on the .sea, or coming into port when 
you were in port, or going into port, that were 

Chairman continued. 

It is difficult to say what is 
They had the usual ballast as 

under-ballasted ? 
in ships now. 

2531. I presume yours were properly ballasted, 
quite sufficiently ballasted ? In my opinion, yes. 

2532. We hear that there are a good many 
not sufficiently ballasted, and I want to know 
whether you were aware of that, or had that 
opinion or not ? The statement is made that 
they are under-ballasted, but we have not been 
told yet what is a proper amount of ballast to 
carry. In my opinion the ballast in a modern 
ship is sufficient. 

2533. Have you known many ships at sea in 
ballast unmanageable not yours but others ? 
I have had my own ship unmanageable in that I 
could not get her to steer but there are other 
ways of managing her besides steering. If you 
have the open sea you can stop and wait for 
finer weather; if on a coast you can go in 

2534. Had that any connection with the 
amount of ballasting when you found your ship 
would not steer ? Sometimes it had. 

Lord Shand. 

2535. In what that it was too light bal- 
lasted ? Yes. 


2536. Have you anything to say as to the 
record of casualties or loss of life in cargo 
steamships ? What I would wish to say on 
that point is that if those statements made are 
true, how is it possible that to the thousands 
of British steamers which sail in ballast and 
are navigated in bad weather up and down 
coasts no frequent and serious casualties with 
loss of life occur, which, in my opinion, must 
have been the inevitable result if these state- 
ments are correct ? I have no hesitation in 
saying this, having regard to my own personal 
experience as a master. I therefore altogether 
dispute the statements which have been made 
which are entirely contrary to my own experi- 
ence when at sea. 

2537. Is there anything else you would wish 
to say as to alleged under-ballasting as regards 
steamers ? Yes. I should like to say that in 
my opinion the question of safety to life does 




24 March 1903.] 

Captaiu A. C. Cooke. 


Chairman continued. 

not arise in connection with the matter of 
under-ballasting, at any rate, so far as steamers 
are concerned, because their weight and fuel 
together with the ordinary water-ballast give 
them sufficient immersion. A modem type 
of cargo .steamer in ballast may be to some 
extent uncomfortable and difficult to manage in 
a gale of wind, but as to its being dangerous to 
human life, I say it is not correct. If a steamer 
in a very strong wind should be found difficult 
to manage, a prudent master will take timely 
and proper precautions to avoid danger, and 
most of tno strandings and accidents which have 
occurred have been largely through errors of 
judgment in dealing with vessels. I should like 
also to point out m support of what I have 
stated above, that I have never known or heard 
in my time of a light cargo steamer being 
missing, and I am told that the statistics of 
casualties at sea during the last ten years 
entirely corrobarate what I have stated. I have 
been told that it has been stated before this 
Committee that masters dare not make any 
suggestions to their owners for increase of 
ballast upon their steamers or they would be 
discharged, and further that they dare not 
appear before courts of inquiry or this Commit- 
tee to give evidence. In my opinion both these 
statements are incorrect, and I do not believe 
that any actual proof whatever can be produced 
in support. Speaking of my own experience, 
both with my own owners and other owners, I 
have frequently in my career come in contact 
with, I can honestly say they have always shown 
the greatest possible willingness to hear and 
consider any technical points in connec- 
tion with ships which may be brought under 
tlicir notice by captains. And it seems to me 
obvious that it is in the interests of owners to do 
so, for no one can have fuller knowledge and 
give better advice respecting the navigation of 
vessels than those who are in command of them 
and therefore know their behaviour. And I 
should like to add this that, although as is 
natural in the course of my 17 years' experience 
as a captain, I have met and made many friends 
among captains and discussed many subjects 
affecting our calling I have found it exceptional 
for the question of under-ballasting to be even 
mentioned, certainly not from the point of view 
of safety, and only when the point is raised from 
the point of view of discomfort. 

2538. Have vou anything to say as to the 
application of load line to foreign vessels ? I 
know from my personal experience that the 
competition of foreign shipowners at present is 
extremely keen and it is most difficult at the 
present time to make British shipping pay at all 
and certainly it would be most unwise, especially 
from the point of view of British masters, officers 
and seamen to do anything to injure the trade 
by which they live, and I feel quite sure that 
tne effects of an enactment such as this would 
be to drive our ships under foreign flags or to 
force their sale to foreigners. This has happened 
in the past as the result of the deep load line, 
and is much more likely in my opinion, to 
happen, if such an Act as now proposed be 
passed, seeing that the conditions of working 
the light load line would be more onerous than 

Chairman continued, 
those of working the deep load line. Of course, 
I need not say that in my opinion any legisla- 
tive enactment for a light load line should be 
made either International or binding upon 
foreign ships, but it is impossible to do tnat 
unless by International arrangement, because 
foreign ships are not subject to British jurisdic- 
tion when trading abroad, whereas, on tne other " 
hand, British shipping would be subject to the 
restrictions, the expenses and penalties of the 
Act when trading in everj' part of the world. 
Then as to the enforcement of the light load line 
on foreign ships when in this country, in my 
opinion the subject is so difficult that it 
would be a dead letter. At the present we 
have the right to detain foreign ships for 
over-loading, and although there are some 
cases of detention, it is common knowledge that 
foreign ships do sail more deeply laden than 
British ships of the same type out of our ports. 
If the difficulties of taking action are so great 
in connection with the deep load line as to make 
that Act almost inoperative as applied to 
foreigners, the difficulties would be infinitely 
greater in enforcing a light load line against 
foreigners, for reasons which will be obvious to 
the Committee. 

2539. Have you anything else to state ? No, 
my Lord, bevond saying that in my opinion no 
compulsory light load line devised which 
would be at once safe in respect of all types of 
ships without doing great and serious injustice 
to a very large number of vessels which have 
been running perfectly safely for years on their 

{)resent ballast arrangements. Furthermore, no 
ight load line could oe fixed for steamers which 
would not be required to be considered and 
adjusted, having regard to the circumstances of 
each particular voyage. To take one example 
which will have to be considered, and if these 
circumstances were not taken into account the 
greatest possible injustice would be done. No 

Eractical man would say that it would be just to 
ave the same cornpulsory ballasting for 
steaming across the North Atlantic in winter 
time as for a voyage from Antwerp to Cardiff in 
the summer time. The consumption of coal in 
steamships again makes it necessary that any 
fixed light load line should be considerably 
immersed at the commencement of the voyage, 
otherwise it would be far out of water before 
the termination of the voyage, in which 
case, I presume, the master would be re- 
sponsible and liable to be prosecuted. 
To fix exactly what allowance of coal consump- 
tion should be made would be a matter of 
dispute and difficulty if not impossible as also 
the fixing of the approximate length of the 
passage which has to be considered. I feel 
certain, as a practical master mariner, that there 
would be endless friction, delay and dispute, and 
in my opinion no reason whatever has been 
shown for plunging British Merchant Shipping 
into these difficulties. In the case of snips 
shifting ports either from the Continent to tne 
L'nited Kingdom or from one port in the United 
Kingdom to another, in my opinion the difficulty 
of procuring dry ballast to augment water ballast 
(as would be necessary, I am sure in many 
cases) o^ving to a hard and fast rule, would 




24 March 1903.] 

Captain A. C. Cooke. 


Chairman continued. 

involve the shipowner in ereat delay and ex- 
pense, and in some ports tlie ballast is practi- 
cally unprocurable or only procurable with great 
delay, and the same difficulty arises when the 
same ship has to discharge her ballast 

Lord Muskerry.