Mr. S. James A. Hill
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the Government will make a statement as to their intention to implement the ILO Convention concerning crew accommodation on merchant ships adopted at the fifty-fifth maritime session in 1970.
§ Mr. Michael Heseltine
By the end of 1973 a consultative document will be issued setting out proposals for regulations to be made next year under the 471W Merchant Shipping Act 1970 to provide for improved minimum standards of crew accommodation on United Kingdom ships. This would enable the Government to ratify the International Labour Office Convention in question. In view of recent comments, the crew accommodation standards for non-European seamen on some older United Kingdom ships and the relationship of this to new standards, I have decided to appoint a small team including members from outside my Department to inspect the crew accommodation on a number of United Kingdom-registered ships constructed before 1956 which are wholly or partly manned by non-European crews and to compare the crew accommodation on these ships with existing statutory requirements which in the main apply to ships built after 1953 and the standards in the 1970 convention. The team will be asked to report to me by the end of the year.