HC Deb 28 February 1934 vol 286 cc1097-8

asked the Minister of Transport whether, before approving grants for road improvements, he will insist in all cases where the necessary road materials are transported to the scene of operation partly or wholly by sea, upon British as opposed to foreign ships being used for the purpose?

28. Colonel SHUTE

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in making grants from the Road Fund, he will give preference to those public bodies and authorities which stiplate in their contracts for the carriage in British-owned and British-manned vessels of any material required by them whose delivery involves coastwise seaborne carriage?


It is already a condition of all grants from the Road Fund towards road improvements that the materials used shall, so far as practicable, be of United Kingdom origin, and that failing purchase from sources within the United Kingdom, products of the Overseas Empire should be used if possible. I am sure that highway authorities generally will not be unmindful of the present position of British shipping and will, wherever practicable, wish to avail themselves of British shipping services.


The point of my question was not whether the goods were purchased abroad or in this country, but that where they had to be transferred by sea they should be transferred in British bottoms; and, while I understand that a clause cannot be inserted in the contracts, could not a Circular be sent to the local authorities?


No doubt the local authorities will see this answer.


May I ask the Minister to do what he can to see that the West Coast lines are protected from foreign competition in this way?