HC Deb 18 December 1928 vol 223 cc2798-9

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered the effect upon the coasting trade of this country of the anticipation of the de-rating scheme in regard to railways, whilst there is no anticipation in respect of docks; and whether he is prepared to set apart a sufficient sum to enable docks, in cooperation with shipowners, to give to the specified industries benefits corresponding to those given by the railways under the Government scheme?

Colonel ASHLEY

I have been asked to reply. Full consideration has been given to the matter to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers; but the Government does not see its way to anticipate the rating relief to be granted to the dock authorities under the Local Government Bill.


Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that a large class of miscellaneous goods which go alternatively by ship or rail or coastwise boats it is apprehended will be transferred from shipping to the railways because of the anticipation of this relief? Does he consider that fair as between one form of transport and another?

Colonel ASHLEY

I do not accept the gloomy view which the hon. Member takes. The Government in their scheme of rating relief are doing what is universally asked for, and, when they have done that, they can do no more.


May I ask whether the Government took all the circumstances of the case into consideration before they decided to ante-date the railway freight relief? Did they have consultations with the shipping companies or the dock authorities?

Colonel ASHLEY

I do not remember receiving any representations on the question.


May I ask whether this might not work in the opposite direction by affording facilities for getting goods from the interior to the coast and thus increase the coastal trade?

Colonel ASHLEY

That is a matter of opinion.


Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman not realise that, in reducing the burdens of one section of the community, he is increasing the burdens on other sections?