§ MR. WATT (Glasgow, College)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury what are the advantages received by the nation in return for the payment of £150,000 annually as subsidy to the Cunard Line for the steamers "Lusitania" and "Mauretania"; for how 58 long a time is this arrangement to continue; and is it possible for the nation to cease making these payments.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. RUNCIMAN,) Dewsbury
As regards the first part of my hon. friend's Question I must refer him to the agreement made- between His Majesty's late Government and the Cunard Steam Ship Company in 1903, and approved by the House of Commons on 12th August of that year (cd. 1703). The Agreement is expressed to run for twenty years from the date of the first sailing of the "Mauretania." So long as the terms of the Agreement are complied with by the company, His Majesty's Government are, of course, bound by its provisions.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
How much money has been lent or advanced to the Cunard Company for the purposes of these ships?
§ MR. SUMMERBELL
was understood to ask if, in view of the immense amount of the subsidy, the company would be called upon to run these as British ships from British ports.