The Admiralty superintendence of steam-boats is quite on a par
with the Board of Trade superintendence of collieries. The Admiralty Superintendent of Packets at , Southampton, when examined by the Committee appointed by the Board of Traie to inquire concerning the loss of the Amazon, admitted, "Cad though it was the vessel's first voyage, he had not examined the state of her boilers and. bulk-heads, or the number and eq ment of her boats, and that he had not even taken the trouble to muster and inspect the crew. It appears, moreover, that this Ad- miralty Superintendent does not reside at Southampton, but in London. The excuse of the Port-Admiral at Plymouth for not despatching a steamer in search of the sufferers when the news of the destruction of the Amazon was received, is revolting: he alleges that the casualty, was not officially intimated to him—that he was not asked to send a steamer. The allegation appears to be of questionable accuracy ; but even were it correct, he does not deny that he knew of the misfortune. Sir John Ommanney must be of kin to the Cambridge graduate, who lamented that he could not take the liberty of saving a drowning man because he had not had the honour to be introduced to him.
It is needless at this time of day to argue that a high preventive police should be established to watch over the public safety in re- lation to all perilous employments and modes of travelling. The question has been decided in the affirmative by the appointment of Inspectors of Collieries, Admiralty Superintendents of Packets, and similar officers. But it should seem that little care is taken to select capable agents, or to arm them with sufficient powers. A make-believe high police of this kind is worse than none : it does nothing of itself, and it tempts men, by relying on its watchful- ness, to be less on their guard.