HC Deb 03 December 1908 vol 197 cc1671-3
MR. VERNEY (Buckinghamshire, N.)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he can furnish information, in a tabular form, for purposes of comparison, showing the increase in the last twenty years of the numbers, tonnage, and draft of individual ships making use of the Port of London and of the other principal British and Continental ports, differentiating steam and sailing ships.

The following Questions also appeared on the Paper in the name of the hon. Gentleman:—

To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he can lay before the House of Commons proposals made by local bodies in England for improving in the near future waterways, harbours, and docks for the better accommodation, of ships of large size and of heavy draft,, showing the amount of expenditure, proposed and the objects for which the expenditure is intended; and similar information respecting the proposed improvements to be undertaken either by central or local governments in the rivers, ports, and docks of Continental countries.

To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he can furnish to the House of Commons in a tabular form statistics showing the expenditure during recent years on the principal ports and docks, including the Port of London, at home, and on the Continent of Europe, and the result of such expenditure in. regard to the increase of accommodation for ships, whether in docks or alongside of quays, or in deepening waterways; whether further information can be, given showing the depths at high and low tide during spring and neap tides at the entrances to the various docks situated on the River Thames, and of the shallower parts of the waterways leading to those docks; and whether, for the purposes of comparison, similar information can be given in regard to the chief Continental rivers, ports and docks.

To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether any record is kept of the demurrage caused to ships of heavy draft making use of the Port of London by reason of shallow waterways in the River Thames at low tide; if so, whether he will give to the House of Commons information showing to what extent demurrage has occurred during recent years; and, if there is no such record, will it be possible to take steps for keeping such a record in future.


If my hon. friend after conferring with the officials at the Board of Trade will move for a Return giving in a suitable form such of the desired particulars as can be furnished or readily obtained by the Department, I will endeavour to meet his wishes so far as practicable, but I ought to warn him that the work of the Department is very heavy at this season of the year, that the preparation of such a Return will take a considerable time, and that it could not possibly be ready during the present session. Meanwhile he will find a good deal of information bearing on the subjects in which he is interested in certain publications of which I am sending him a list.