§ Mr. John MacKay
asked the Secretary of State for Trade, what regulations govern the passage of crude oil tankers (a) in the Minch and (b) in the Sound of Mull; and if he is satisfied that they are sufficient to prevent an accident resulting in oil spillage.
§ Mr. Sproat
There are no special regulations governing the passage of crude oil tankers in the Minch and the Sound of Mull: under international law all vessels enjoy the right of innocent passage in these waters. I am not aware of any accident in this area resulting in a crude oil spillage. The provisions of the Prevention of Oil Pollution Act 1971 apply and I do not envisage, at present, seeking further powers: regulations of themselves will not prevent accidents. But my Department keeps the position under continual review, in consultation with local interests.