12. Mr. SHIRLEY BENN
asked the President of the Board of Trade what arrangements have been made with regard to the management and running of the German ships seized by Portugal, now taken over by the British Government?
§ 15. Sir E. CORNWALL
asked the President of the Board of Trade how many ships hitherto interned at Lisbon and other Portuguese ports are being placed at the disposal of this country, and upon what terms; and whether those vessels will be controlled and run by the State or by private owners?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Pretyman)
The exact number of ex-German vessels to be placed at the disposal of this country by the Portuguese Government is not yet determined. They will be chartered to us at 14s. 3d. per ton gross per month, we paying all expenses. They will be managed by a leading firm of shipowners on behalf of the Government, and any profit or loss will be for Government account.
§ Mr. HOUSTON
What does my hon. Friend mean by paying all expenses? Surely the 14s. 3d. covers the cost of provisioning and insurance?
§ 24. Major HUNT
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the Government has any agreement with the Portuguese Government that none of the money paid to them for the hire of German ships shall be paid to Germany or German subjects; and can he give any reason why we should pay Portugal at the rate of £8 per gross ton per year for ships hired from Portugal which do not belong to that country?
§ Mr. PRETYMAN
The hon. Gentleman can rest assured that none of the money paid for the hire of these German ships will find its way to Germany. As soon as the ships are condemned by the Portuguese Prize Court they become the property of Portugal.