Orders of the Day — Shipping Contracts and Commercial Documents Bill
Mr Emanuel Shinwell (Easington)
This is a very abstruse legal argument which no doubt has a great deal of substance but which I do not follow very well. It occurs to me that if a ship arrives in some American port and the question of the disclosure or production of documents emerges, the authority acting on behalf of the Federal Maritime Commission may demand the production of documents. To whom does it make its demand? Obviously, it can make its demand only to the master of the vessel. Unless some arrangement precedes the sailing of the vessel or its arrival in a American port, an arrangement between the shipowner and the shipper in the United Kingdom which satisfies the Federal Maritime Commission, who is to be responsible? Is it to be a matter to be settled in advance before the ship leaves the United Kingdom and arrives in an American port, or will it be left to the captain?