§ Lord Kennet
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What proposals they are making to regulate traffic through the Minches, and what alternative routes are available.
§ Lord Brabazon of Tara
: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport announced on 3rd July that, following the confirmation by surveys completed last year under the Government's civil hydrography programme that there is a route to the west of the Outer Hebrides suitable for deep draught vessels, he had decided to seek formal approval from the International Maritime Organisation for a deep water route in the area surveyed. If approval is given, the route will be marked on charts of the area issued by all nations, which will also carry a recommendation that laden tankers of over 10,000 grt should use the route in preference to passing through the Minches. The procedures have been put in hand for securing the approval. The route already appears on charts issued by the Hydrographer of the Navy.