HC Deb 11 July 1956 vol 556 cc27-8W
59. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will make a statement on the utility, cost and development of the radio position-finding device to be used in conjunction with land-based transmitting stations, a demonstration of which in and off the coast of Aberdeen took place on 26th June, 1956, and in particular its relevance and cost to fishing vessels and to safety of life at sea.

Mr. Profumo

The Decca Navigator System is a valuable medium-range aid to navigation. Since 1947 four chains of stations have been installed in the United Kingdom giving complete coverage of the sea areas around our coasts. The latest of them, the North Scottish Chain, to which the hon. and learned Member refers, should be particularly useful to fishing vessels, more than 300 of which are already equipped to use the service. Three other chains have been installed in Europe, and I understand that further extensions are planned.

The Decca Navigator Company provides and maintains the transmitting stations in the United Kingdom and make hire maintenance charges for the receivers used on board ship. I understand that the charge varies from £275 to £395 a year according to the service the user requires.