§ MR. BELLAIRS
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade with reference to the annual statement of the navigation and shipping of the United Kingdom whether the figures of entrances and clearances for each port are prepared on the same basis; whether the figures for Southampton are to be regarded as a complete account of the foreign shipping trade of the port within the limits of the explanation afforded by the introductory notes on page vii.; whether the figures for Dover are enhanced by a different mode of classification; and whether he can give any indication, if the same mode of classification were applied to both Dover and Southampton, as to what difference in the number of vessels and net register tons would be made in the figures
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
The figures as to entrances and clearances of shipping are now prepared on the same basis for all ports. Prior to 1907, vessels in the Foreign trade calling at or off a port to land or embark passengers or baggage only, were not included in the returns unless they were brought to at or near the docks or quays of the ports. Thus at Southampton such vessels bringing to below Netley were excluded, while at Dover similar vessels which, as a rule, brought to at or near the piers, were included. Since the beginning of this year all vessels calling at or off the ports to land or embark passengers or baggage have been included, whether brought to at or near the docks or quays or not. The number of vessels "calling off" at Southampton which were excluded from the Returns in 1906 owing to the operation of the rule then in force was 338, with a total net tonnage of 1,222,443 tons. These were all foreign, and the new rule will therefore involve an apparent increase in the tonnage of foreign vessels entered and cleared this year as compared with 1906.