HC Deb 05 July 1938 vol 338 cc181-2
59. Mr. James Hall

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the comments made at a recent Board of Trade inquiry as to the growing necessity for officers having a thorough knowledge of ship stability; and whether he will take steps to ensure that masters and officers shall hold certificates granted by his Department which afford evidence of knowledge of the important subject of ship stability?

Mr. Stanley

I assume that the hon. Member refers to the recent inquiry into the circumstances attending the loss of the Steamship "Taylor" where the court stated that the owners appeared to have taken no steps to ascertain the vessel's stability when loaded with timber. Stability varies between ship and ship and in different conditions of loading of the same ship; and it is the responsibility of the owners to provide their masters with such information relating to the stability of their ships as is necessary.

6 Mr. Hall

asked the President of the Board of Trade why, in view of the report appearing in Cmd. 5745 on the convention concerning the minimum requirement of professional capacity for masters and officers on board merchant ships, he does not propose to introduce legislation on the subject of this convention?

Mr. Stanley

The United Kingdom requirements are based primarily on safety considerations. As there is no evidence to suggest that these considerations require an extension of the present system of certification in the United Kingdom, it is not proposed to introduce legislation on the subject of this convention.