HC Deb 19 July 1979 vol 970 c786W
Mr. Geoffrey Johnson Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will draw to the attention of the Liberian Government the powers of Her Majesty's Government to take action against any Liberian owners or the masters of their vessels if pollution takes place which affects the coastline of the United Kingdom and subsequently a fine is imposed which in the sole opinion of Her Majesty's Government is totally inadequate.

Mr. Tebbit

Under the Prevention of Oil Pollution Act 1971, the master or owner of any foreign vessel may be prosecuted in our courts for the unlawful discharge of oil into our territorial waters: we have no powers to prosecute foreign vessels for the discharge of oil outside our territorial waters. I have no doubt that the Liberian Government are well aware of our powers in this respect.

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