HC Deb 11 November 1936 vol 317 cc878-9
78. Lieut.-Colonel SANDEMAN ALLEN

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether in view of the fact that the present tramp-shipping subsidy is for the year 1936 only, he can inform the House of the Government's intentions as to assistance to tramp shipping after the end of this year?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Runciman)

The Government propose to submit proposals providing for the payment of subsidy not exceeding £2,000,000 in respect of the year 1937 subject to the same general conditions as apply to the present year These conditions provide for the decrease or disappearance of the subsidy if the average level of freight rates for the year approaches or passes that of 1929. The industry will be expected to make its plans on the definite assumption that no subsidy will be paid after the end of 1937.


In view of the well-known straitened circumstances of the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has put the question, is it proposed to apply the means test?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that so considerable an improvement has taken place in the tramp shipping industry that it ought now to be able to do without any State assistance?


The hon. Member will find in due course that there is a sliding scale in the proposals which provides for the elimination of the subsidy altogether.