HC Deb 06 March 1963 vol 673 cc391-2
8. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware of the importance to the British shipping industry of the recent variations in international maritime law and conventions relating to flags of convenience; if he will draw these to the attention of ship-owners, sailors and all who are engaged in the industry, for their guidance; and if he will make a statement.

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

I assume that the hon. and learned Member is referring to the recent coming into force of the 1958 Convention on the High Seas, Article 5 of which deals with flags of convenience. Unfortunately, although they signed the Convention, none of the countries usually described as flag of convenience countries has as yet ratified it. I do not think that any further statement would be useful at the moment.

Mr. Hughes

Does not the Minister realise that it would be greatly in the interests of international trade, industry and commerce if he could induce the various other competing fleets to agree to some kind of co-ordination so that they all have the same rule of conduct?

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

We much appreciate that. That is one of the objects of the Convention.

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