§ 57. Mr. WALTER ROCH
asked the Prime Minister if his attention has been called to an Order in Council, issued on 5th February last, which prohibits the sale of any ship or the shares of any company giving control of a ship to a British subject; and if he will state why it was thought necessary to issue such a prohibition, which in no way adds to the powers of control of shipping abroad possessed over British shipping by the Shipping Controller and which may seriously depreciate the value of British shipping?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of SHIPPING (Sir Leo Chiozza Money)
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. The Order of 16th February, 1917, with regard to the purchase of ships, as amended on 5th February, 1918, is general in its terms and applies to all classes of ships, British, Allied, and neutral. In the case of British ships the practice has been not to interfere with the course of the transaction except where it appeared, from the particulars which the intending purchaser is required to furnish under the Order, that the transaction would be contrary to the national interest. I am not aware that the Order has had any effect upon the value of British ships.
§ Sir L. CHIOZZA MONEY
We have no intention of interfering with any bonâ fide transfer. The object is to prevent ships passing under improper control.