§ 64. Sir M. Sueter
asked the Home Secretary whether he can state what caused the fire that destroyed the flying-boat "Connemara" at Hythe, on the 19th June last; whether immediate steps are being taken to see that the recommendations of the inspector of explosives to improve the design of the refuelling petrol barges are being carried out; whether his suggested improvements for filling the flying-boats are being taken in hand; and whether he can give an assurance that steps are being taken to see that only experienced men will be employed to form the crew of these refuelling barges?
§ Sir J. Anderson
The fire was caused by a backfire in a Diesel oil-engine on the refuelling barge igniting petrol which had accidently accumulated in the cockpit of 778 the barge. I understand that my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Transport, has in hand the question of enforcing the suggested improvements of the method of fuelling flying-boats, and that the owners of the refuelling barge have adopted the improvements of design recommended. I am assured that it is the general policy of the owners to utilise the services of experienced employés only.