§ Mr. Allen
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Mr. Fisher), of 17 June,Official Report, column 342, what statistical information relating to Merchant Navy seafarers was discontinued; when his Department decided to discontinue the collection and publication of these statistics and for what reasons; if the decision was announced to Parliament; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Norris
The statistics no longer published were based on the Merchant Navy Establishment, a register, maintained by the General Council of British Shipping. The register was a list of seafarers available for employment under National Maritime Board agreements. The Merchant Navy Establishment was discontinued in September 1990, following six months' consultation between the General Council of British Shipping and the trade unions. As the statistics were a by-product of a register held outside Government for non-statistical reasons, no announcement was made to Parliament.
Statistics of seafarers employed on vessels entered with the Chamber of Shipping continue to be available from the chamber's fleet and manpower inquiry and are published by the Department in merchant fleet statistics.209W