39. Mr. MACLEAN
asked the President of the Board of Trade if any definite decision has yet been arrived at regarding the fixing of a proper safety load-line; and, if not, if he will introduce, either by regulation or legislation, a load-line which will approximate to the old Plimsoll safety line?
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
Statutory rules for fixing the position of load-line on ships have been in force since 1890, and are still in force. These rules have been modified from time to time in the light of increased experience and improved construction of ships, and a further revision of the rules has been undertaken 206 by an expert committee, who are expected to report very soon. It is proposed to send their report to Dominion and foreign Governments for consideration, and efforts will be made to secure international agreement on the subject of load-line.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I cannot go beyond the reply which I have already given, but we should have the Report very soon now, and it may help matters if I add that it will, of course, be Published, and will be available to hon. Members.
Will there be anything in the Report in reference to the subject of the last part of my question, No.39?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I cannot at this stage anticipate the terms of the Report, but I can say at once to the House that there will be no question of any reduction of the present safety regulations.
Will the right hon. Gentleman endeavour to speed up the inquiry, as it has been going on for a long time?