§ 65. Mr. J. M. HENDERSON
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Shipping Controller if he is aware that the steamship "Alnwick Castle" arrived in London on the 5th February, having on board a large amount of copper required for munitions, and that on the 20th February she was not unloaded; and will he state what is the usual time which elapses between the arrival of ships and the unloading of their cargoes?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY Of SHIPPING CONTROL (Sir Leo Chiozza Money)
I am informed by the owners of the "Alnwick Castle" that discharge of the ship was completed at 5 p.m. on Monday, 19th February. There were special difficulties through severe frost, etc.; nevertheless, the work was done in thirteen working days. The amount of copper on board was only 252 tons, out of a total cargo of 8,000 tons, and, as it was, of course, stowed at the bottom of the ship, it was the last to be discharged. The answer to the latter part of the question is that the time which elapses between the arrival of a ship and the unloading of her cargo obviously depends upon the character and description of the cargo carried. For example, in many instances vessels with 6,000 tons of cargo are discharged in three working days, whereas, on the other hand, vessels with coniderably less tonnage may take a fortnight or longer.
§ Mr. HENDERSON
Will, then, the hon. Gentleman explain why on the 24th of this month the people who were relying upon the copper had not received it, nor had they received any advice as to its discharge?
Sir L. CHIOZZA-MONEY
I can only [...] in reply to the hon. Gentleman, that 1684 I have had most careful inquiry made in this case, both through the Port Transit and Executive Committee and the owners of the vessel themselves, and they are satisfied that, in view of the extraordinary character of the cargo of the vessel, consisting of about 70,000 different pieces, the discharge was done very favourably indeed.