39. Mr. David Adams
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether the customary inquiries into vessels suffering marine damage or loss are being continued and steps taken to remove any avoidable causes of accident thereby revealed?
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport (Mr. Noel-Baker)
Yes, Sir. My Department inquires into all casualties involving loss or damage to ships or loss of life, whether they are caused by marine risks or enemy action. If the inquiries show that any additional and practicable measures will increase the safety of crews or ships, those measures are adopted with the least possible delay.
Will the Minister investigate the complaints which are being made by shipowners that the Admiralty are now compelling them to use spirit compasses —with perhaps disastrous results in certain places—which they consider unsuitable as standard compasses?
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
If my hon. Friend will put down a Question about compasses, I will endeavour to answer it. As I understand it, there is great difficulty in regard to the shortage of electrician labour.