§ 54. Mr. James Johnson
asked the President of the Board of Trade what progress he is making in his efforts to ensure greater safety at sea for fishing vessels.
§ Mr. Mason
The new Merchant Shipping Rules which came into force on 26th May require in several respects improved provision of life-saving appliances, fire appliances and radio equipment on fishing vessels. The Board of Trade are currently taking an active part in international studies of the stability of fishing vessels. I am also in consultation with the fishing industry about the possibility of more frequent position reports from fishing vessels at sea.
§ Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on his investigations into the work of the National Physical Laboratory relating to the safety of ships at sea, with special reference to two trawlers, "Boston Pioneer" and "Blue Crusader", which some time ago were lost at sea without trace, and in relation to which he has recently made investigations into means of improving communications between ships at sea and shore especially in bad weather.
§ Mr. Mason
I understand that work on particular fishing vessels is being done at the National Physical Laboratory at the request of owners and builders and that general studies of trawler form are part of the Laboratory's research programme. The Board of Trade are keenly interested in this work and are moveover playing a full part in international studies of the stability of fishing vessels which the Inter-governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation is undertaking. When these studies have progressed sufficiently to justify model experiments for particular types of hull we shall seek the assistance of the National Physical Laboratory. I am in consultation with the fishing industry about the possibility of more frequent position reports from fishing vessels at sea.