HC Deb 17 November 1936 vol 317 cc1486-7

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the steamships "Afghanistan" and "Alma Dawson" have had trouble with their steering gears in recent gales, and that such steering gears are of the rod and chain type; and when he proposes to put into operation the recommendations of the committee set up to advise him as to the continued use of rod and chain steering gears?


I have seen reports that the two vessels mentioned have experienced trouble with their rod and chain steering gears in the recent gales, but I have not yet received detailed reports. With regard to the last part of the question, as the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) was informed on 29th October, discussions are in progress with the classification societies and the shipping industry in regard to the steps to be taken to implement the recommendations of the Steering Gear Committee. These discussions will be completed very shortly but as an interim measure a letter, drawing the attention of owners of cargo ships to the special measures which the Board of Trade consider ought to be taken in regard to steering gear, has been sent to the shipowners' organisations and has been circulated by them to shipowners concerned.