§ 24 Mr. Benjamin Smith
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether he is satisfied that the requirements of paragraph 19 of Instructions to Surveyors regarding crews' space will ensure that an adequate supply of hot and cold fresh water will at all times be readily available to crews for washing purposes in cases in which the water is not laid on to the wash-basins themselves;
(2) whether he has considered the observations of the medical officer of 184 health for the port of Liverpool, regarding the supply of water to wash-houses in vessels, and particularly the results of the investigation by the port health authority into the claim that ocean-going cargo vessels cannot carry enough water to meet the demand for the supply of hot and cold fresh water to wash-houses; and whether he is taking any steps to secure that an adequate supply of hot and cold fresh water shall be made available for washing purposes on existing vessels as well as on new ones;
(3) whether instructions have been given to surveyors that where water has to be carried by bucket from taps placed away from the wash-basins, or from the galley, it is not to be regarded as being available from a convenient source?
§ Mr. Stanley
I have seen the report of the Port Medical Officer of Health, Liverpool. I am informed that in the 58 ships concerned in the investigation referred to the supply of fresh water carried was sufficient, and in only four cases was any rationing of the supply found necessary. I have no information which would indicate that paragraph19 of the Crew Space Instructions does not achieve its object. In the case of existing ships, Board of Trade surveyors are instructed to take steps to secure any reasonable and practicable improvements. Such action in regard to the fresh water supply for washing purposes would be taken if the existing arrangements were not adequate. The question whether a supply of fresh water from a source outside the wash places can be regarded as convenient can only be determined on the facts in each particular case.
§ Mr. Smith
Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware from the many reports of port medical officers of health that it is not an unusual thing for a man to go aft and carry back a bucketful of hot water for washing purposes, most of which is lost in the wind before he gets there; and does he regard this as a convenient method of getting water into the wash-houses?
§ Mr. Stanley
The hon. Member knows the great difficulties of bringing the existing ships up to what, I think, he will agree is a satisfactory standard laid down for new ships, and I can assure him that in every practical case we are trying to make what improvements are possible. I 185 am always glad to get information about unsatisfactory cases and to take any action on them.