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Trawlers (Safety Precautions)

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 October 1950

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asked the Minister of Transport how many lives of trawler workers have been lost during the last five years through improper stowage of loose coal on the decks of drifters and trawlers, and failure by trawler and drifter owners to take proper safety precautions.

Four lives have been lost from trawlers and drifters during the period in question in circumstances which suggest that the cause was the carriage of loose coal on deck.

asked the Minister of Transport if his attention has been drawn to prosecutions of fishermen who refused to sail in trawlers because loose coal was improperly and dangerously stowed on the deck of the trawlers contrary to his department's notice M.343; that, although these prosecutions were dismissed, the prosecuted fishermen were not entitled to costs or expenses and the prosecuted men were thereby put to loss and expense for which they will not be compensated; and if he will rectify this matter.

My attention has been called to the prosecution to which my hon. and learned Friend refers, but as I understand the case is likely to be the subject of an appeal to a higher Court I do not think it would be proper for me to make any comment at this stage.