§ Mr. ATTLEE (by Private Notice)
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can now make any statement regarding the report that the International Mercantile Marine Company is contemplating legal action to prevent the 582 completion of the Cunard-White Star merger?
Since the matter was raised last night I have had an opportunity of reading the Press reports from America. The board of the Oceanic Company have been authoritatively advised that they may legally implement their part in the merger scheme without the consent of the American company. I wish, however, to make it plain that, if a contrary decision emerged as a result of legal action, the parties could attain by alternative methods, which could not be open to attack, precisely the result contemplated by the merger agreement; and such methods would be within the scope of the North Atlantic Shipping Bill in its present form. In these circumstances, I have satisfied myself that no reason exists why the House should be deflected from its purpose by any action which may be taken by the International Mercantile Marine Company.