§ Mr. Symonds
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will inquire into and report upon the causes of the presence of the oil slick off the coast of Cumberland and what action is being taken against those concerned; and if he will take steps to reimburse the local authorities concerned for the losses caused.
§ Mr. William Rodgers
It is probable that the slick was part of a quantity of fuel oil which escaped when the British tanker "Hamilton Trader", was in collision with a German cargo vessel off Liverpool on 30th April. We are holding a preliminary inquiry into the circumstances of the collision and must await the result before deciding whether action against any person is justified. The local authorities concerned can claim grant from the Ministry of Housing and Local Government at the rate of 50 per cent. of expenditure necessarily incurred by them in dealing with any oil pollution which this slick may have caused.