asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware of the continuing loss and inconvenience caused to seaside resorts by the pollution of beaches by oil; if he has now concluded his examination of this matter; and what steps he is proposing to take by way of remedial action.
Mr. Gurney Braithwaite:
My right hon. Friend is well aware that the pollution of beaches by oil is causing grave concern, and he is most anxious to do everything possible to solve it.
The inquiries which my right hon. Friend's Department have been making are practically complete and preliminary discussions with appropriate Government Departments and with the shipping industry have been started to consider what further practical measures can be taken. As my hon. and gallant Friend knows, this is a most difficult problem, to which there is no simple solution, but I can assure him that consideration will be given to every means by which the nuisance can be abated.
May I ask my hon. Friend whether it would not be possible, by international agreement, to have separators installed in all merchant ships, which would solve this problem almost overnight, and, at the same time, save the lives of thousands of sea birds every year?