The Introduction of the Merchant Shipping Act 1906
A study of the shipping interest’s standpoint on the run up to the Merchant Shipping Act of 1906. The Act addressed contemporary anxieties about the competitive position of British ships and the number of foreign, mostly Asian, seamen in British ships. There were differences between owners and associations in different sectors of the industry, though they came together in opposition to Government action and interference. The Act included load levels and safety requirements (significantly including foreign ships in British ports), language tests for foreign seamen, conditions and accommodation, provisions. However the effects were hard to assess and world changed with advent of WWI.