Fishing Vessels (Life-Saving Appliances).

Oral Answers to Questions — Coal Industry. – in the House of Commons on 6th December 1938.

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Mr. Adamson:

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether all fishing vessels constructed before 1st August, 1938, will be required to carry the life-saving appliances specified in the new rules unless their owners have been specifically granted exemption by his Department?

(2) what is the procedure for obtaining exemptions in respect of fishing vessels under the new rules regarding life-saving appliances; and whether there is a time-limit after which no further exemptions will be granted?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

The new Rules will come into operation on 1st January, 1939, and after that date the position of fishing vessels constructed before 1st August, 1938, will be as stated by the hon. Member. Application for exemption from any requirement of the new rules should be made by the owner to the nearest Board of Trade Surveyor. Full details of the relaxation desired and the grounds on which it is claimed that compliance with the requirement would be either impracticable or unreasonable should be given. There is no time limit after which no further exemptions will be granted.

Mr. Adamson:

May we take it that unless exemptions are secured these regulations have to be complied with at the earliest date?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

That is correct. The onus will be on the owner.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

Can the right hon. Gentleman undertake that no exemptions will be granted on the ex parte application of the owners of fishing vessels without taking into account representations made by the men and the crews?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

I can assure the hon. Member that every care will be taken in dealing with every application.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

I know that every care will be taken—we always get that answer—but can the right hon. Gentleman undertake that the men's representatives will be consulted on this matter, which vitally affects their lives and security, before exemptions are granted?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

I am not going to give an undertaking in a general form, but certainly any proposals from them will be carefully considered.

Photo of Mr Malcolm Macmillan Mr Malcolm Macmillan , Na h-Eileanan an Iar

Will the right hon. Gentleman take responsibility for any loss of life that arises?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

Yes, I take full responsibility for anything in my Department.

Mr. Adamson:

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether it is his intention to refuse to allow any exemption from the rule which requires all fishing vessels of 50 feet or over to carry an approved type of line-throwing appliance?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

It is not intended that there should be any exemptions from the requirement to which the hon. Member refers.