§ Mr. Turner-Samuels
asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether his attention has been brought to the observations of Mr. Justice Devlin in the recent case of St. John Shipping Corporation versus Joseph Rank Limited, namely, that Section 44 of the Merchant Shipping (Safety and Load-Line Conventions) Act, 1932, which imposes a fine of £100 for every inch by which the load-line was submerged might now be of little or no value as a deterrent ; if he is aware that, while a British master was liable to imprisonment for an offence under Section 44, a foreign master was not ; and if he will introduce legislation to amend the section so as to remedy it in both those respects.
§ Mr. Watkinson
I have every sympathy with the hon. Member's suggestion for increasing the fines which can be imposed for overloading. The matter has been noted for amending legislation when a suitable opportunity offers. To make foreign masters liable to imprisonment raises a more difficult problem and might have undesirable results for British masters abroad.