asked the Minister for Tourism and Transport if he will make a statement concerning the EEC transport council recommendation on the certification and training of seafarers; and the steps, if any, being taken to implement this recommendation.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Training of Seafarers.
The recommendation referred to by the Deputy was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 21 December 1978. It urged upon member states the early signature and ratification of the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.
The convention represents a major move towards the achievement of internationally recognised and accepted standards in the training and certification of seafarers. It is an important convention and its acceptance and implementation by the maritime nations of the world is expected to make a significant contribution towards greater safety at sea and the elimination of maritime casualties. Ireland accordingly supported the Council recommendation urging the early signature and ratification of the convention.
I propose to circulate a Bill shortly dealing with the certification of seamen. There will be provision in the Bill for the making of regulations which will enable the convention to be ratified and implemented with the necessary statutory backing.
Does circulation shortly mean before the end of the year or before the summer?
I am afraid I could not say. The Bill is being prepared and will be available shortly. I cannot say just what "shortly" means.
Has the Bill gone through the various Government Departments?
It will be circulated shortly.
Is the Minister in the habit of using words he does not understand?
It is hoped to obtain Government approval shortly.
I have not got the Minister's experience, but am I right in assuming the Bill he proposes to circulate shortly has not yet got the approval of the Government or that it has not been cleared by the Government?
There will be no difficulty in having it cleared. The Deputy is probably aware that the standards we have here are very high. In fact, they are as high as those provided for in the convention.