asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether he intends to issue Service respirators to members of the Merchant Navy; whether he is aware that tin helmets are not issued in sufficient quantities; so that some members of crews in action stations have no such protection; and whether he proposes to remedy this?
Respirators are now issued to the defence personnel in all merchant ships, but the personnel in ships which have not recently returned to this country may not yet have received them. Steel helmets are issued to the whole crew of ships sailing on routes which are specially subject to air attack. On vessels sailing on other routes, steel helmets are provided for each officer and petty officer, and for ten per cent. of the rest of the crew. If my hon. and gallant Friend knows of any vessel in which, in his view, these arrangements are inadequate, I will cause inquiries to be made.