SHIP BLUE JACKET
The Commissioners, on arriving alongside, were prevented boarding the Ship, the Health Officer considering that she must be detained in quarantine, owing to the recent existence of smallpox among the immigrants, &c.
The ship having been admitted to pratique, the Commissioners examined the vessel. The whole of the between deck fittings having been destroyed by order of the Board of Health, the Commissioners can only report that every compartment was very clean. The position indicated as that of the female hospital was objectionable, being placed in a close corner, where lighting and ventilation must necessarily have been very imperfect. Isolation in the hospital, in the case of contageous disease, must have been impracticable.
The boiler of the condenser (Normanby's), at about the longitude of the Cape, was found to be cracked, and to leak considerably into the fire. Had the injury amounted to a stoppage of distillation the result would have been most serious, as four tanks, reported as having bee passed by the Commissioners at Gravesend as part of the water supply, were, when opened, found to contain bread.
On receiving information that the immigrants in the Lazaret were released from quarantine, the Commissioners proceeded to Camp Bay. They found all the immigrants in good health. They regret that they have to report that during the voyage many irregularities occurred, evincing imperfect discipline. Enquiry convinced the Commissioners that the Surgeon did not receive from the master and officers that assistance and moral support which would enable him, occupied as he must have been with the care of the sick, to maintainproper order. The very objectionable plan of allowing single men in the saloon in a passenger (immigrant) ship was the principle if not the sole cause of those improproprieties of which the Commissioners complain.
Some of these single passengers are reported to have on frequent occasions been seen with their arms around the waists of single female immigrants; and the mates are also mentioned as improperly familiar with the single women, and as declining to assist the surgeon when applied to by him.
On landing at the Lazaret, the second and third officersare reported by an official to have rudly romped with the girls upon the grassy slopes, and to have refused to leave their apartment until threatened with force.
The Commissioners can only recommend for gratuities the Surgeon, who is commended generally for his assiduous care of the sick; and the Purser (the officer who server the provisions), of whom all parties concur in speaking well.
In conclusion, the Commissioners again deprecate the mixing of the various classes in immigrant vessels. Recognising the advantage of the presence of married ladies in the saloon, they repeat that the Government plan of excluding saloon passengers should, with this exception, be adopted. The hospital also, as in Government ships, should be in the poop, or at least in a deck-house.
|RICHARD R ARMSTRING|
|JOHN T ROUSE|