HC Deb 04 August 1942 vol 382 cc874-5W
Mr. Hewlett

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether the experiences of those seamen in torpedoed vessels has contributed any guidance and, if so, of what nature to the efficiency of our life-saving apparatus and the equipment of the boats concerned?

Mr. Noel-Baker

Yes, Sir. Since the war began all possible information regarding war casualties has been obtained by the Ministry. Survivors have been interviewed and encouraged to talk freely, and to put forward suggestions or criticisms. In addition, there has been close consultation throughout with all sections of the shipping industry, including the representatives of officers' and seamen's societies. Numerous new safety devices and measures have been introduced to meet the needs thus revealed. This process began before the end of 1939. It has continued and will continue. The Ministry has received much evidence of the effectiveness of the action taken and many expressions of appreciation both from individuals and from organisations representing seamen, officers and others concerned. The measures now in force are set forth in a new code of rules which is being laid before Parliament in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Acts. These rules consolidate existing requirements and introduce a number of important new measures.