p.3 A Bill of which the following is an analysis, has been introduced into Parliament for the better regulation of the Steamboats plying on the waters of this Province:-
Preamble - No vessel propelled by steam to navigate the waters of this Province, unless inspected yearly by the officer appointed for that purpose, and furnished with a certificate from him - such vessels to be strictly examined as to their safety and sea-worthiness - Certificates of inspection to be posted in the vessel - steamboats carrying passengers to be provided with sufficient boats, anchors and cables - steamboats over a certain tonnage to be steered forward, and the wheel connected to the rudder with iron rods or chains - steamboats to have sufficient engines and fire buckets - steamboats to carry lights at night, and to ring bells in foggy weather - steamboats to have proper ( ? )-boards, which shall have lights when used at night - term "night" defined - engine not to be in motion while passengers are embarking or disembarking - exception - passengers not to be put into boats until the same are fully afloat - boats not to be hauled ( ) the steamer by means of the machinery - high pressure engines not to be used in any passenger boats, excepting ferry boats, after a certain day - racing and challenging to race forbidden - penalty - when the headway of the vessel is stopped, the safety valve to be opened - This Act not to apply to vessels owned in foreign ports. A steam vessel passing another shall port helm, so as to pass by taking the starboard side - penalties for contravening this act - second offence, penalties how recovered - how distributed - punishment of those by whose misconduct fatal accidents shall happen on board steam vessels - such accidents to be prima Facie evidence of misconduct - A copy of this act to be kept on board each steam vessel for the perusal of the passengers - Appeal given on conviction under this Act - notice of appeal and security to be given - proviso - Justices of the Peace to transmit the conviction to the Quarter Sessions - Act to be a public act.
The Montreal Gazette characterizes this as an alarming and disgusting measure - finding particular fault with the clause relating to vessels propelled by high pressure engines, and asserting that "its only effect will be to give the American boats a monopoly of the conveyance of passengers on the Upper waters." We beg to assure our contemporary that there is not the least foundation for his fears in this respect. There is not a single steamer, American or British, navigating Lake Ontario, and very few on Lake Erie, furnished with high pressure engines. It is true that two or three of the small steamers navigating the St. Lawrence are propelled by high pressure engines, but we can assure the Gazette that the public are very shy about travelling in them, and in consequence they are going out of use. The other objection raised by the Gazette, about the tiller chains, is still more trifling. In case of fire we all know that the chain, or ( ) is far preferable to hempen ropes, and we could quote more than one instance where human lives have been lost from the simple fact that the tiller ropes were burnt and the vessel rendered thereby unmanageable. Our contemporary must really be very much in want of something to grumble about when he condemns the reform of such palpable abuses.