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Merchant Ships (Wireless Staff)

Volume 154: debated on Monday 15 May 1922

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the question of wireless watchers has been recently investigated by the Merchant Shipping Ad- visory Committee; whether a Report has been submitted; and what decision, if any, has the Board of Trade come to in the matter?

The Merchant Shipping Advisory Committee has reported on the question of wireless watchers, and recommended that no change in the regulations is at present justified. At the same time, the Committee called attention to a lack of co-operation between operators and watchers, and to the unsatisfactory practice obtaining on some ships of taking watchers from their wireless watch for other work. Steps are being taken by the Board of Trade to effect improvement in these respects. The Committee's report is being printed, and I will send the hon. Member a copy as soon as it is ready.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether a strike occurred on the 5th to 22nd April of the wireless telegraphists; whether the Board of Trade suspended the law with regard to wireless telegraphists on board ship; what Regulation was suspended during that strike; and what class of watchers, if any, were employed on ships in which the regular wireless operators had gone on strike?

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Portsmouth Central (Sir T. Bramsdon) on 11th May. Detailed particulars as to the wireless staff actually carried during the strike are not available, but very few eases occurred in which it was not possible to obtain operators.