HC Deb 29 April 1958 vol 587 cc165-6
9. Dr. Bennett

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, what research has been carried out for the prevention, rather than the cure, of crankcase explosions in diesel engines, notably large marine diesel engines.

Mr. H. Nicholls

The British Shipbuilding Research Association, supported by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, has carried out fundamental work in collaboration with the Imperial College of Science and Technology on the causes of explosions in the crankcases of large marine diesel engines. This work has led to the development of a photo-electric automatic device to give early warning when dangerous conditions are arising, so that remedial action can be taken.

Dr. Bennett

Are these devices yet being manufactured for general use? In the light of the recent loss of yet another ship from a crankcase explosion of this sort, will my hon. Friend ask the Minister of Transport to make some recommendation that for the safety of British shipping these devices might be fitted?

Mr. Nicholls

I will draw the attention of my noble Friend to the last part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question. This device is now being commercially manufactured following extensive trials at sea. There is another device for the same purpose, as was mentioned in my Answer, which is being developed independently and will also be commercially available.