HC Deb 12 January 1998 vol 304 c111W
Mr. Alasdair Morgan

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what language requirements his Department demands in respect of crews employed on ferries operating solely within United Kingdom waters. [22168]

Mr. McLeish

All ferries operating within Scotland or from Scotland to other parts of the United Kingdom are subject to the Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards of Safety Communications) Regulations 1997 which apply to United Kingdom ships and to all passenger vessels which start or finish a voyage in the United Kingdom. To comply with these regulations, the operators of passenger ferries in Scotland, as elsewhere in the United Kingdom, must ensure that all crew members with a responsibility for assisting passengers in emergency situations have communication skills that are sufficient for that purpose, including the ability to communicate in English. The oversight of these regulations is the responsibility of the Marine Safety Agency, an executive agency of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.