HC Deb 13 October 1942 vol 383 cc1497-8
61. Mr. David Adams

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether, in view of accidents arising from defective pleasure rowing boats available for public hire upon lakes and other inland waters, he will consider the desirability of the examination and licensing of all such vessels?

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport (Mr. Noel-Baker)

The powers given to the Board of Trade under the Merchant Shipping Acts, and now exercised by the Minister of War Transport, to impose safety requirements on vessels do not extend to pleasure rowing boats, but I understand that the Public Health Acts empower local authorities to regulate, by the issue of licences, the use of such craft. If my hon. Friend has any information about accidents due to defective pleasure rowing boats, perhaps he would be good enough to send it to me or to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health.

Mr. Adams

I shall be very happy to send that information to the Minister. Is he aware that on the Cumberland lakes two Service men were drowned through using defective boats?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I shall be glad to have the information.

Mr. Sorensen

Are we to understand that shilling-an-hour boats are under the hon. Gentleman's surveillance?

Mr. Noel-Baker

They are licensed by local authorities, under the Act of 1907. In view of the fact that they have to licence them, they are responsible for seeing that the boats are in good condition.