§ Sir Bernard Braine asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will state the number of ships involved in accidents on the River Thames and Estuary reported to the Port of London Authority in each of the years 1979 and 1980 and for the first six months in 1981, showing separately the number of cases where it was thought necessary to investigate, to call for a report, or to conduct an inquiry under the Merchant Shipping Act; and in how many such cases the ships involved were carrying cargoes of a hazardous or pollutant nature.418W
§ Mr. Sproat [pursuant to his reply, 19 October 1981, c. 38]: Details of the number of accidents to ships on the River Thames and Estuary reported to the Port of London Authority for the years 1979–80 and the first six months of 1981 are not yet available to my Department. Under the Merchant Shipping Act my Department has investigated or called for reports on 32 (1979) and 29 (1980) shipping accidents, one of which was the subject of a preliminary inquiry. Four of these cases, all in 1979, were identified as ships carrying dangerous or pollutant cargoes. Corresponding figures for the first six months of 1981 are not readily available and cannot be produced without disproportionate cost.