HC Deb 19 February 1914 vol 58 cc1134-5

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the discrimination against small shippers and importers imposed by the Port of London Authority in the preferential rebates granted in violation of the spirit and intention of Clause 15 of the Port of London Act, 1908; and whether he is prepared to take steps to protect those whom the Clause was designed to protect and to counteract the tendency to monopoly?


Such complaints as have been made to the Board of Trade on this matter have referred more especially to the rates on frozen meet. The Port of London Authority now inform me that the arrangement made many years ago between their predecessors and importers of frozen meat, under which rebates were in force, has been discontinued since the 1st January last, and that no preferential rebates in violation of Section 15 of the Port of London Act, 1908, are in practice.


Do the Port of London Authority claim that they have a legal right to make this discrimination?


That I cannot say at the moment. The difficulty arises from a legacy left to the Port of London Authority by their predecessors. I will, however, inquire into the suggestion of my hon. Friend.


Will the right hon. Gentleman make this serious position clear by an Amendment of the Bill of the Port of London Authority now before the House?


I cannot on the spur of the moment undertake to give legislative effect to the suggestion of my right hon. Friend, but I will look into the point, and if it is worth consideration it will get it.