HC Deb 17 May 1916 vol 82 c1499

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he can now state how he is going to supply River Plate ports with coal from the United States by requisitioned or directed steamers without making ballast voyages across the Atlantic, as recently stated?


My hon. Friend is, of course, aware that it is not practicable to allow the vessels in question to take coal from the United Kingdom. They have to make ballast voyages across the Atlantic, and the contrary has never been stated. The arrangement that has been come to is that by carrying coal from the United States to the River Plate ports in the first place the shorter voyage to North America instead of the longer voyage to South America is made in ballast, and in the second, useful and profitable occupation so far as possible is secured.


Is it not the fact that on the 4th May the right hon. Gentleman stated that these arrangements were made so as to obviate the making of a ballast voyage?


The question suggests that that was stated, but what I was asked then was that in sending coal to the River Plate ports we would keep in view the reducing of ballast voyages, and it was from that point of view I gave an answer.