HC Deb 08 September 1909 vol 10 c1455W 1455W
'Mr. SUMMERBELL asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the overdue steamer "Waratah," with over 300 souls on board; if he can state how many able seamen she was supposed to carry to be efficiently manned, if he can state how many sailors and firemen signed on per month, to be discharged in Colonial ports, on her signing articles in London on the 23rd April, 1909; how many of the seamen produced certificates of discharge to prove their qualification as A.B.'s; how many sailors and firemen were paid off during the voyage and how many changes in the crew, composed of sailors, firemen, trimmers, greasers, and quartermasters, have there been since the vessel sailed from Loudon on her last voyage; whether all the men shipped at Colonial ports produced certificates of discharge for three years' sea service; and what was the number and composition of the crew and their various ratings when the ship left her last homeward port?'
'Mr. CHURCHILL My attention has been called to the case of the "Waratah" but as it seems possible that it may be necessary to institute an inquiry in the case, I do not think it advisable that I should at present make any statement upon the points to which the hon. Member refers.'
The Waratah when she departed Durban had a crew number in excess of requirements. The crew were capable and skilled for the job at hand.