§ 17. Mr. STRANGER
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the fact that a Committee appointed by the International Shipping Conference has unanimously agreed that it is desirable that there should be universal rules for the measurement of shipping tonnage; and whether His Majesty's Government are wishful to adopt the suggestion and are taking any steps to carry out the suggestion by ascertaining the views of other Powers?
I have seen in the Press the Resolution referred to in the question. There is already a remarkable degree of uniformity in the matter of tonnage measurement among the maritime nations, but if good cause were shown for thinking that the present agreement could and should be made more complete, I would be prepared to consider taking action in this direction.
§ Mr. STRANGER
Does the right hon. Gentleman not know that there is agreement on this Committee that there should be a universal tonnage rule?
I was aware of that fact, and I am also inclined to believe that there are more considerations that have to be taken into account in the interests of shipowners themselves. It is not clear exactly at present at what they are aiming.
§ Mr. STRANGER
But this is a resolution of the shipowners themselves. Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware of that fact?
I have the Resolution in my hand, and obviously I am aware of it, but I can only say that it is impossible, within the limits of an answer to a question, to go into all the considerations that make the question of tonnage a little difficult.