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Channel Cables (Magnetic Interference)

Volume 531: debated on Wednesday 27 October 1954

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asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what steps are being taken to prevent cross-channel electric cables from interfering with ships' compasses.

Experiments on the magnetic disturbances caused by submarine cables have been carried out by the British Electricity Authority together with the Departments concerned. The results of these experiments are now being studied, and the need to protect ships' compasses will be carefully borne in mind in considering any scheme for laying cross-channel electric cables.

Will my right hon Friend do more than bear this important matter in mind?

It is very important, for obvious reasons, that ships' compasses should not be adversely affected, and my hon. and gallant Friend may be reassured if he reflects that no cables can be laid below high water mark without my permission, under Section 34 of the Coast Protection Act, 1949.