HC Deb 15 March 1922 vol 151 cc2210-1W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to any cases where lives have been lost at sea by ships failing to receive messages from sinking ships owing to the fact that watchers, who were unable to receive messages, were employed instead of highly trained operators; and can he see his way to make Regulations for operators to be employed instead of watchers, especially as many highly skilled wireless operators are unemployed?


A case has been brought to the notice of the Board of Trade in which it is alleged that life was lost owing to failure to receive messages, and in that case it was alleged that the failure to receive the distress signal was due to the fact that the watcher had been taken from his wireless watch for other purposes. Legal proceedings have been instituted against the master in this instance. The question whether the existing Regulations relating to watchers should be altered was referred to the Merchant Shipping Advisory Committee last year. Their report has now been received and is being considered by the Department.