Shipping Safety (Donaldson Report)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:04 am on 28th June 1995.

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Photo of Jim Wallace Jim Wallace , Orkney and Shetland 10:04 am, 28th June 1995

I am grateful for that intervention. I would not wish to give the impression that nothing is being done; some important steps have been taken.

For example, every month we now publish the names of defaulters from the surveys that are done by the Marine Safety Agency at several ports, when it finds ships that do not come up to the mark. That is a helpful, positive development and one hopes that it has some effect. Perhaps the Minister will be able to say whether there is any evidence yet that it is having an effect as a result of the embarrassment factor—and perhaps some commercial downside effect—of those names being published, together with the flag, country and classification society involved.

I would not wish to give the impression that nothing has been done. If one reads the recommendations, one sees many good intentions. However, we should have published a timetable showing when the Government would want those proposals to be translated into action—when the talking must stop and the action must start.

The Government publish a report annually on the state of the environment, in which they set out the progress that has been made on the targets that they set themselves the previous year. It might be helpful if, annually or, better still, six-monthly, the Government were to set out the progress that has been made in trying to meet some of the objectives and to follow up some of the arguments that were made in their response to the Donaldson report.