§ 52. Mr. C. Hughes
asked the Minister of Transport whether he will introduce regulations making it compulsory for British coasting vessels of every tonnage to carry radio telephone equipment.
At present all cargo ships over 1,600 gross tons and all passenger ships, unless specially exempted, must be provided with radiotelegraph installations. The rules which my right hon. Friend is proposing to make under the Merchant Shipping (Safety Convention) Act, 1949, will provide, in addition, that cargo ships between 500 and 1,600 tons must carry either a radiotelegraph or a radiotelephone installation. It is not proposed at present to extend these requirements to cargo ships under 500 tons, but the matter will be kept under review in consultation with the interests concerned.