HC Deb 05 March 1940 vol 358 cc186-7
29. Mr. Lipson

asked the Minister of Shipping whether he is aware that shipping companies claim that they are unable to fulfil the regulation that ships should carry two wireless operators because the men are not available; and what steps he is taking to overcome the shortage of qualified wireless operators?

The Minister of Shipping (Sir John Gilmour)

In some cases it has been reported that it has not been possible to obtain an additional wireless operator, but the situation is rapidly improving. All former sea-going wireless operators have been invited to take up employment again in the merchant navy; and the time taken to train wireless operators has been reduced by the introduction of more intensive courses of training. These measures have contributed largely to the much improved position.

Mr. Lipson

Does that mean that the position is now that there is no excuse for a British ship sailing without two wireless operators?

Sir J. Gilmour

I do not think that I could go quite as far as that, but the situation, as I see it, has improved, and between the 6th November last and the 16th February, 518 ships have had a second wireless operator.