§ 8. Captain PETER MACDONALD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has received any complaints respecting the discharge of oil within 50 miles of the coast of Great Britain; and, if so, what action he has taken in the matter?
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
Complaints are received from time to time and, where the waters affected are within the limit 814 of a harbour, the attention of the Harbour Authority is drawn to the complaint. Proceedings have been taken in a number of these cases by the Harbour Authorities. Reports of oil which has drifted ashore or has been observed at a distance from the coast, outside harbour limits, are occasionally received, but owing to the difficulty of tracing the vessels which discharge the oil, it has not been possible to take action. The number of complaints has decreased during the last two years.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
That matter also has been discussed, but there are difficulties in securing the application of that proposal. I can only assure the hon. Member that the matter was kept before us in the preparation of this reply.
§ Sir BURTON CHADWICK
Would it not be quite impossible to impose upon British shipowners the necessity of fitting oil separators?
§ Captain GUNSTON
If ships discharge oil outside the three miles limit, is it possible to take action against them?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I should like notice of that question. No doubt that raises points which were not before us when this answer was drafted.
§ 9. Captain MACDONALD
asked the President of the Board of Trade what numbers of inspections of vessels and premises have been made by his Department in the present year under the provisions of the Oil in Navigable Waters Act, 1922?