HC Deb 16 March 1953 vol 512 cc1811-2
28. Captain Ryder

asked the Minister of Transport how many major outbreaks of fire there have been in ships in port in the United Kingdom in each of the years since 1948.

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)

One in 1949, two in 1950, eight in 1951 and three in 1952. Of the total of 14 fires, nine were in yachts and small fishing vessels, two were in passenger ships and three in cargo ships. There has also this year been the major fire in the "Empress of Canada."

Captain Ryder

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the working party's report on fire prevention and fire fighting in ships for the years 1946–48 the average was about 280, whereas in 1949 it came down to one? Can my right hon. Friend say what striking progress was made in 1949 to enable this remarkable reduction to be achieved?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

My hon. and gallant Friend asked about major fires and in the Department we regard major fires as those involving total loss or serious casualties. I gave an answer relating to major fires.

Mr. Bowles

Has the right hon. Gentleman received a report of the inquiry into the total loss by burning of the "Empress of Canada"?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

No. Sir.

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