HC Deb 23 May 1978 vol 950 cc481-2W
Mr. Prior

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what consideration is being given to the payment of compensation to the holiday industry for any potential loss of bookings which could result from cancellation due to fears of oil pollution &c.

Mr. Clinton Davis

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 19th May 1978; Vol. 950, c. 351], gave the following information:

We do not yet know whether the holiday industry will be significantly adversely affected by the oil pollution. Under the 1969 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage and the oil industry's voluntary CRISTAL scheme, a maximum of $30 million is available to reimburse clean-up costs and to pay compensation for oil pollution damage resulting from the collision involving the "Eleni V".

The legal position of claims submitted by those engaged in the holiday interests under the Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution) Act 1971, which implements the 1969 convention, has not yet been tested in our courts and, accordingly, while it may be possible in due course to establish valid claims, it must be recognised that in any event there may be difficulty in certain instances in demonstrating the size of any loss and a direct link with oil pollution. Similarly, there is a degree of uncertainty about the position of claims by the holiday industry under CRISTAL.

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