HC Deb 18 August 1887 vol 319 cc940-1
MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

asked the Secretary to the Board of Trade, Whether his attention has been called to the recommendation of the Council of the Mercantile Marino Service Association, that the International Regulations of Navigation should be so amended that distinctive signals, by long and short blasts on a steam whistle or fog horn, to indicate the course of vessels, shall be used in fogs as well as when another vessel is in sight, and to the finding of the Court of Inquiry in the case of the collision between the Britannic and the Celtic, that the present system of signals is not sufficiently distinctive; and, whether, having regard to the frequency of fog, especially in the North Atlantic, and the increasing number and speed of steam vessels, the Board of Trade will enter into communication with the United States and other Governments with the view of minimising the risk of collision in fog, by amendment of the International Regulations in the manner suggested by the Mercantile Marine Service Association?

THE SECRETARY (Baron HENRY DE WORMS) (Liverpool, East Toxteth)

The attention of the Board of Trade has been directed to the Report of the inquiry held in the case of the collision between the Britannic and Celtic, and also to the recommendations by the Mercantile Marine Service Association relative to the present system of signalling at sea during fogs, and the Board of Trade are carefully considering them. The second paragraph of the hon. Member's Question raises such important considerations that I am not at present prepared to give him a reply.