HC Deb 13 July 1960 vol 626 c1374
13. Commander Kerans

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what instructions are given to Royal Fleet auxiliaries regarding the discharge of oil sullage before entering the South-Western approaches to the English Channel.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

Royal Fleet auxiliaries are under strict instructions to observe all regulations made under the Oil in Navigable Waters Act, 1955, including those which forbid the discharge of persistent oils in the United Kingdom prohibited zone.

Commander Kerans

In thanking my hon. Friend for that reply, I am glad to note that Royal Fleet auxiliaries carry out the provisions of the Act by discharging oil sullage before reaching the statutory limits. Is he aware that the oil pollution on beaches on the South Coast is extremely bad—as bad as it was two or three years ago? I hope that merchant ships also obey the Act and carry out these rules.

Mr. Orr-Ewing

As I have tried to make clear, although we are not governed statutory-wise by this Act, we try to stick as strictly as possible to it. If my hon. and gallant Friend knows of any case where that has not been done. I would be glad to hear about it.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Is my hon. Friend aware that in the West Country the coast is extremely badly oil-polluted? I have been getting telegrams about it. Will he take steps to ask the naval air station in the extreme west of Cornwall to increase patrols to make certain that no oil is discharged within the statutory limits?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

The policing of this is not really the business of the Navy. I will, however, bear that point in mind.

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