Sea-Water Conversion

Oral Answers to Questions — Merchant Navy – in the House of Commons on 14th October 1942.

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Photo of Mr Robert Rankin Mr Robert Rankin , Liverpool Kirkdale

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport what progress is being made in fitting passenger and cargo steamers with machines for making sea water drinkable?

Photo of Mr Philip Noel-Baker Mr Philip Noel-Baker , Derby

My. Ministry have made every effort in their power to secure an apparatus which will give seamen and others who are cast away in lifeboats an adequate supply of drinking water. The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research has investigated, on behalf of my Noble Friend, various methods of converting sea-water into drinking water, and the conclusion has been reached that the most suitable apparatus for use in a lifeboat would be a small still. Such a still must have a high standard of efficiency in view of the restricted space available for storage of fuel in lifeboats. Experimental stills have been made and are now under test, and I hope to have early information in regard to their performance.