HC Deb 23 November 1937 vol 329 cc1037-8
60. Sir G. Gibson

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether as the result of the discussions with the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, any financial arrangements have been arrived at with a view to building new ships on Pacific routes; and whether it is intended to proceed with the building of such ships at an early date?

Mr. Stanley

The Governments concerned are in communication on this question, and I am not yet in a position to make a statement regarding it.

Sir G. Gibson

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the fact that this is a matter which is giving very great concern in Australia, and particularly in New Zealand, and that if something is not done in the near future to place new ships on the Pacific, the British flag, so far as passengers are concerned, will disappear?

Mr. Stanley

I am quite aware of that, but my hon. Friend will realise that this depends on consideration by other Governments as well as by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. We are perfectly prepared to play our part.

Mr. Shinwell

Have the shipowners asked for a further subsidy?

Mr. Garro Jones

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that if he takes over or makes provision for un-lucrative services, he will also take over the profit-making or lucrative services?

Mr. G. Griffiths

Shall we have to ask Mussolini about this?