§ 18. Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in spite of the use of the interned steamers, the expected reduction in freights from the Tyne to London has not taken place; and what is now the rate?
My right hon. Friend has requested me to answer this question. There was some reduction in freights when these vessels started running, but there was afterwards an upward tendency. I understand that 14s. 6d. was the last rate paid to an outside boat, and 12s. to an interned steamer.
§ 19. Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in order to ease the freight rates for coal from the Tyne to London, he can arrange for some of the colliers which take coal from Cardiff to the North Sea Fleet to take a cargo from the Tyne to London on the way back instead of returning empty?
Certain colliers have already been temporarily released by the Admiralty for the purpose indicated, and the practice will be continued so far as Fleet considerations permit.
§ Sir FORTESCUE FLANNERY
Would the hon. Gentleman consider the desirability of representing to the Admiralty that they should pay part of the excessive rate out of the savings on the hire of these colliers at 4s. per ton?
No, I think not. As I have indicated, the rates charged for the interned steamers are lower than those in the open market.
The firm was instructed to conform to the market rate and to resist any upward tendency.
§ Sir R. ADKINS
My hon. Friend says that they were instructed to conform to the market rate. Does that mean the market rate as inflated in these peculiar circumstances?
An inflated market rate is still a market rate. The firm were instructed to observe the market rata and to resist an upward tendency. These figures show that they are doing so.