HC Deb 15 July 1919 vol 118 cc212-3
70. Sir F. HALL

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Shipping Controller whether, when the "Aquitania" was at Halifax on the 2nd June, she was lying alongside warehouses containing wood-pulp; whether application had been made that some of this pulp should be loaded in consequence of it being required urgently for paper-making in this country; whether he is aware that none of it was, however, loaded, and the steamer left with a considerable amount of space available; which Government Department was responsible for this great loss of tonnage; whether the official responsible has been suitably reprimanded; and whether he will give instructions that in future the loading of ships is to be left in the hands of the shipowners, in order that the best use may be made of all available tonnage?


This matter has been investigated, but neither the owners, the commander of the ship, nor the representatives of the Ministry of Shipping in Canada have any knowledge of such cargo being tendered or declined. If my hon. and gallant Friend can inform me to whom the cargo was tendered and by whom it was refused I will have further investigation made


Does my ion. Friend not remember that I have sent him a communication and letters from the Cunard Company, and from the importers of the wood pulp?

Colonel WILSON

Yes, my hon. Friend has sent me these communications, but I would remind him that the gentleman who communicated with him simply said he had been informed that some Government Department had been responsible for refusing to ship this pulp. I have no confirmation. I cabled to Canada, and I saw the commander of the ship, but confirmation was not forthcoming.