HC Deb 06 November 1940 vol 365 c1328
35. Mr. Ammon

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the rafts of H.M.S. "Glorious" were equipped with automatic raft lights to enable them to be seen in the hours of darkness?

Mr. Alexander

A satisfactory automatic raft light had not been developed when H.M.S. "Glorious" was lost, but all ships had been directed to fit flares on their rafts. Supplies of automatic lights are now being made available for general issue.

Mr. Ammon

Does not my right hon. Friend know that an automatic light has been approved by the Ministry of Shipping and a Regulation issued?

Mr. Alexander

There is a further Question later on, and perhaps the hon. Gentleman would wait for the answer to that.

Captain Plugge

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there exists on the market a type of lifebelt with an automatic light which operates when a man wearing it falls into the water, and would he consider equipping every man in the Royal Navy with this device?

Mr. Alexander

All those points have been fully considered during the past 12 months by a special Departmental Committee.

Miss Rathbone

Is it not the case that six months ago we were promised that automatic lights would be attached to all rafts and lifeboats, and were not the Ministry considering the question of attaching them to lifebelts? Are they not rather slow in providing this necessary equipment?

Mr. Alexander

I think that point arises on Question No. 37.