asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether the new ship's lifeboat, designed by Mr. Francis H. Lowe, of Merseyside, has now successfully passed all tests; whether he has now received official reports on its efficiency, buoyancy and suitability for general use; and whether he will make a statement as to the supply of this kind of lifeboat in replacement of obsolete types?
Mr. Lowe's lifeboat has satisfactorily passed the official tests which have been made, and I have now arranged that it shall be immediately subjected to trials at sea. If these trials confirm the favourable opinion already formed, I will do what I can in present conditions to encourage its supply to ships in which it may be practicable to install it. I hope my hon. Friend will not assume from this answer that I regard the lifeboats now in use as obsolete. On the contrary, they have met the requirements of the war remarkably well.
May I thank my hon. Friend for his reply and beg him to make haste with the trials in order that this new boat can be put into general use so far as is possible?
We want to make the maximum possible use of what we regard as an important improvement.
Will this and other improved types be available to colliers and other coastal craft?
I do not think it would be suitable under present conditions.