HC Deb 16 February 1932 vol 261 c1452
13. Captain P. MACDONALD

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will consider the desirability of modifying our navigation laws so as to permit coastal traffic in this country to be confined to British ships registered at a British port with the object of increasing the volume of employment among members of the mercantile marine?


While His Majesty's Government are anxious to do all they reasonably can to increase the volume of employment in the Mercantile Marine, I am not satisfied that such action in regard to the coasting trade of the United Kingdom would have the desired effect.


Is it not a fact that nearly every country in the world is imposing restrictions on its coasting trade, and does not the right hon. Gentleman think that legislation by His Majesty's Government would be a very good bargaining weapon with which to get those restrictions removed?


As only 1 per cent. of our coasting trade is under a foreign flag, I am afraid there is not much with which to bargain.

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