HC Deb 26 March 1973 vol 853 cc899-900
10. Mr. Costain

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress is being made on the international co-ordination of the promulgation of radio navigational warnings in such areas as the Channel and the North Sea; and by what date he expects improved arrangements to take effect.

Mr. Onslow

A new international committee was recently set up specially to deal with this subject. It will hold its first meeting in May and hopes to complete its work next year. Meanwhile broadcast warnings to Channel shipping continue and further measures to increase safety in the area are being pursued.

Mr. Costain

As this is a matter of saving life in the Channel, why is IMCO taking so long to make a decision? Surely it can be taken before next year.

Mr. Onslow

I assure my hon. Friend that we are pursuing this work as fast as possible, but if the findings of the committee involve amendment of the international radio regulations it would have to be made, at the earliest, at the World Radio Conference, which will meet in April next year. Since these are international waters, I hope my hon. Friend will appreciate that it is necessary to obtain international agreement.