§ Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will call for a report from local authorities which are responsible for coastal areas in regard to the proposed regulations for minimum lifesaving apparatus in view of the suggestions made in pages 33 to 38 in the 1964–65 Report of the Medical Commission on Accident Prevention, a copy of which has been sent to him.
§ Mr. Crossman
My Department's Circular No. 52/65, issued on 6th July, asked local authorities to review their areas to make sure that everything possible is done to prevent loss of life through drowning. Attention was drawn to their powers to provide life-saving apparatus. Before deciding whether to approach local authorities on the suggestions in the Commission's Report, I am having these suggestions examined in the Department.
§ Sir B. Janner
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government (1) whether he will introduce legislation specifying the minimum standards of lifesaving apparatus which all who profit from the public use of beaches should apply in accordance with the recommendation made in the Medical Commission on Accident Prevention's Report, 1964–65, concerning coast rescue; and whether he will apply this legislation equally to inland water within public access, in view of the fact that most of the drownings occur at such places;
(2) whether he will take steps to ensure that life-saving patrols are provided in Great Britain; whether he is aware that, owing to high-pressure advertising and misleading labels, retailers and purchasers alike are frequently unaware that what are being offered for sale as life-jackets are not life-jackets, but a buoyancy aid which is virtually useless to non-swimmers, for unconscious persons, or for those incapable of movement owing to cold; and what steps are being taken to advise amateur yachtsmen and dinghy sailors of what they should purchase to provide for their safety.
§ Mr. Crossman
My Department's Circular No. 52/65, sent to all local authorities in England on 6th July, asked them to review their areas to make sure 449W that everything possible is done to prevent loss of life through drowning. Attention was drawn to their powers, in the Public Health Act, 1936 and elsewhere, to provide life-saving appliances and patrols. I do not think further legislation is required at present, but I will see that the matters raised in the Commission's report are considered in the Department.
Misleading advertisements and advice to sailors are matters for my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.