§ Mr. Crouch
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will consider making an exemption for ships of less than 500 tons from the compulsory use of Trinity House pilots and where the competence of their masters in navigation and a knowledge of the coastal waters they sail in can be established.
§ Mr. Tebbit
Under the Pilotage Act 1913 and the Merchant Shipping Act 1979, pilotage authorities, of which Trinity House is one, may promote byelaws making pilotage compulsory for certain vessels. Trinity House is currently promoting byelaws with such provisions for several of the pilotage districts for which it is the authority. These byelaws will require my consent before they come into effect, but first I will seek the advice of the Pilotage Commission on their merits. It would be wrong for me to consider amendments to the byelaw proposals before I have had that advice.