HC Deb 05 March 1940 vol 358 c187
30. Miss Rathbone

asked the Minister of Shipping whether instructions have been issued to mercantile marine employers concerning the proportion of rafts to the number of crew which they are required to supply for each vessel; and whether it will be made compulsory for boats, rafts and lifebelts or waistcoats to be fitted with sea-proof electric torches?

Sir J. Gilmour

My intention is that the supply of rafts shall be sufficient to accommodate all on board. Boats are already required to carry lights, and this requirement will be extended to rafts for the dual purpose of enabling them to be found by rescuing craft and to be identified by men in the water.

Miss Rathbone

Will these lights be supplied to individual men, so that a man struggling in the water will be able to show a light?

Sir J. Gilmour

That is an aspect which is being considered at the present time. There is some doubt as to whether it would be wise, because a man might be left to go to the light of another man instead of to the raft, and it might lead to the loss rather than to the saving of life.

Mr. Thorne

Will the Minister be good enough to inquire into the suitability of what is known as the Collins lifesaving jacket, which I have mentioned many times in this House?

Sir J. Gilmour

Yes, Sir.