81. Mr. ARTHUR HENDERSON Junior
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the serious position which has arisen in regard to the coastal shipping services of the country as a consequence of the relief from rates given to all railway undertakings for the period December, 1928 to October, 1929 under the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1929; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?
§ Mr. HERBERT MORRISON
I am not aware that the rebates allowed under the Railway Freight Rebates (Anticipation Scheme have seriously affected coastwise shipping. The scheme applies to a relatively narrow range of traffics, most of which are not carried coastwise to any large extent, and as my hon. Friend is aware, it will be superseded in October by the Local Government Act, under which coastwise shipping will doubtless benefit as a result of the partial derating of docks and wharves. In the circumstances I do not propose at this stage to interfere with the existing arrangements.
May I ask the hon. Member whether he will guarantee that these great benefits will not be withdrawn?