§ 13. Mr. HOUSTON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the present high standard of freights is due to the scarcity of tonnage, mainly brought about by the number of steamers requisitioned by the Transport Department of the Admiralty; whether he is aware that many of the steamers so requisitioned have been kept lying idle for lengthy periods, during which periods they might have been profitably employed, and thereby reduce national expenditure and bring freight to a lower level; and whether he will bring pressure to bear upon the Admiralty and War Office to release ships which are not urgently required?
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
One of the causes of the present high rates of freight is undoubtedly the number of vessels requisitioned by the Admiralty. Any particulars of what appear to be undue delays given to the Board of Trade or to the Admiralty will at once be made the subject of investigation, and my right hon. Friends the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Secretary of State for War are fully alive to the important considerations advanced by the hon. Member.