HC Deb 05 February 1952 vol 495 c130W
Sir J. Lucas

asked the Minister of Transport if he will take powers to make safety regulations to protect the crews of British-owned ships on tow from any foreign or overseas port, since he already has such powers regarding ships on tow from British ports.

Mr. Maclay

Under Section 457 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, it is an offence if any person sends, or attempts to send, a British ship to sea in such an unseaworthy state that life is likely to be endangered. This applies wherever the ship may sail from, and I am advised that it applies to ships which are being towed as well as to ships proceeding under their own power. My existing powers to require standards of safety are, I think, generally adequate.

As regards ships which are being towed to this country to be broken up, my hon. Friend will be aware that these ships differ considerably in the problems they present. I have arranged for officers of my Department to consider with representatives of the interests concerned whether the existing arrangements can be improved.