HC Deb 08 December 1936 vol 318 cc1810-2

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) what steps, if any, have been taken to impose a more systematic and comprehensive supervision of fishing vessels, as was recommended by the Sea Fish Commission;

(2) whether consideration of those parts of the report of the Sea Fish Commission which come within the powers of his Department has been completed; and, if so, what steps he proposes to take to give effect to the recommendations of the commission, particularly in regard to the amendment of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894;

(3) whether he intends to introduce legislation, or take such other steps as may be practicable, to bring into line with modern requirements the provisions relating to life-saving appliances on fishing vessels, as was recommended by the Sea Fish Commission?


Legislation will shortly be introduced to give the Board of Trade power to prescribe the life-saving appliances to be carried in fishing vessels. The existing staff of Board of Trade surveyors is being strengthened to enable increased attention to be given to the condition and equipment of all classes of fishing vessels; in particular, it is hoped to make a comprehensive survey of a large proportion of the drifter fleet before the fishing season commences next summer. Considerable progress has been made in the examination of the recommendations of the Sea Fish Commission relative to settling sheet grievances but my right hon. Friend will not be in a position to indicate the action to be taken until the necessary consultations with the industry have been completed.


Can the Parliamentary Secretary indicate whether the legislation will be introduced this Session?


I think that the term "will shortly be introduced" is enough to say that in all probability it will.


What does the Parliamentary Secretary mean by a survey of the drifter fleet? For what purpose is that survey to be carried out?


For the purpose of safety.