§ 74. Mr. GRANVILLE GIBSON
asked President of the Board of Trade if he has taken, or intends to take, any further steps to minimise the injury caused to fish and bird life and to the amenities of seaside resorts by the refuse oil discharged from oil-burning vessels?
§ Dr. BURGIN
The discharge of oil within the territorial waters of this country is prohibited under the Oil in Navigable Waters Act, 1922. Further steps are dependent on international action, as to which I would refer to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade to the hon. Member for Birkenhead East on the 5th December, to which I can add nothing.
§ Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
Is international action being pressed forward in this matter, as meanwhile, fish and bird life is being seriously hurt?
§ Mr. GIBSON
Is it not possible for something to be done by our Government, apart from international action, to deal with this matter round our own coast?
§ Dr. BURGIN
The usual suggestion is that British ships should be fitted with separators. We do not feel disposed to make a compulsory order putting an extra burden on British shipping, if the whole result of doing so can be nullified by foreign shipping to which our rules do not apply.