§ MR. GEORGE ROBERTS (Norwich)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the dock regulations with regard to ladders down ships' holds for shipping and unshipping at fore and aft and thwart ships' hatch beams are being generally ignored; and whether, in view of the fact that the three years allowed for compliance with such regulations expired on 1st January of this year, and as there has been no uniform system of ladders applied yet, and in the majority of cases no attempt made to comply with the regulations, he will take steps to secure some kind of uniformity in the carrying out of such regulations.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
The requirements of the dock regulations, Nos. 6 and 8, to which I understand the Question to refer, have been receiving the continuous attention of the staff for some time past. Early in last year a circular was issued by me to shipowners calling attention specially to these points, among others; and I am informed that, though irregularities are still found, it is not the case that regulations 6 and 8 are being generally ignored. There is no power under the regulations to require any particular system of ladders to be uniformly adopted; what the regulation prescribes is that safe means of access by ladders or steps from the deck to the hold shall be maintained. If the hon. Member will communicate to me any cases that have come to his notice in which the regulations are not being observed inquiry shall be made.