§ 35. Sir BASIL PETO
asked the President of the Board of Trade what executive action he has taken to assist the British shipping industry as a whole, and tramp steamships in particular; and what further action he intends to take?
§ Dr. BURGIN
Action to assist the British shipping industry is continually being taken by the Board of Trade. I may refer to the recent Anglo-Russian Trade Agreement the result of which has already been an increase in the number of British ships chartered for trade with Russia; to the efforts being made in other trade agreement negotiations to further the interests of British shipping and to the agreement made with Portugal to put an end to flag discrimination. I would also refer to the assistance given by His Majesty's Government to North Atlantic shipping. As regards further general action for the assistance either of the industry as a whole, or tramp steamships in particular, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answers which my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Members for Southampton (Mr. Craven-Ellis) and Cardiff, East (Mr. Temple Morris) on the 12th April.
§ Sir B. PETO
Is my hon. Friend aware that on Thursday last, in answer to a supplementary question by the hon. Member for Bridgetown (Mr. Maxton), the President of the Board of Trade himself said that if a specific question were put down he would be pleased to give a specific answer as to the steps being taken, and, in view of that, does my hon. Friend not think that the answer he has just given, in extremely vague terms, is most unsatisfactory?
§ Dr. BURGIN
I think it was a frank answer. I was asked what executive 706 action is being taken, and I replied, "Continuous."