HC Deb 05 July 1923 vol 166 cc617-8

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that the new pilotage rates on the Firth of Forth are not in accordance with the agreement reached at the inquiry held by the Board of Trade, and that the pilots concerned have intimated their objection to the rates, it is the intention of the Board to enforce these rates which have not been the subject of agreement between the various interests?

Lieut.-Colonel BUCKLEY

The arrangement made at the Board of Trade inquiry was that representatives of the ship-owners and pilots concerned should meet and prepare a new scale of rates giving effect to certain broad considerations brought out at the inquiry. The parties failed to reach agreement, and new rates were submitted by the Forth Pilotage Authority. There was no substantial difference between the rates so submitted and those desired by the pilots, except as regards the rates for vessels exceeding 3,000 tons gross. After full consideration of all the representations made, the Board of Trade decided to give a trial to the proposals submitted by the Authority and see what their effect would be. Accordingly, formal confirmation has been given to the rates submitted, on the understanding that it will be open to the pilots to make further representations at the end of six months from the date of confirmation.


Is it not rather a departure from the usual practice to put into operation pilotage rates without an agreement or without hearing the cases separately and coming to an independent decision?

Lieut.-Colonel BUCKLEY

I do not know about that.


Surely there is a very substantial difference between the rates put forward by the ship-owners and by the pilots? Is it not a fact that in the case of ships of over 3,500 tons the pilots claim 3s., which was agreed to at the meeting, and now the ship-owners put forward a 2s. rate, which is a very substantial difference?

Lieut.-Colonel BUCKLEY

I did not deal with this matter myself, but I understand that the difference is not so great as the hon. and gallant Gentleman has suggested.

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