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Navigable Waters (Oil Discharge)

Volume 465: debated on Monday 30 May 1949

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5.

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware of the damage being done to the beaches of our seaside resorts by the washing up of oil and oily substances by the tides; and if he will take steps to make it an offence for vessels to eject oil into the waver or to throw oily substances overboard within 10 miles of the coast.

Yes. The discharge of oil within British territorial waters is an offence under the Oil in Navigable Waters Act, 1922. Outside territorial waters the problem requires the co-operation of the principal maritime nations, but shipowners of this country and of a number of other countries have agreed not to discharge oil into navigable waters within 50 miles of any coast.