HC Deb 05 December 1939 vol 355 cc419-20
Mr. Shinwell

(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Shipping whether he is now requisitioning British tonnage for the conveyance of essential Government imports into this country?

Sir J. Gilmour

Yes, Sir. With a view to ensuring a regular importation of cereals by the North Atlantic route, I am now requisitioning British ships for the conveyance on this route of full cargoes bought by the Ministry of Food. I shall consider the extension of requisitioning for the conveyance of other essential Government cargoes as circumstances may render this course desirable.

Mr. Shinwell

Can the right hon. Gentleman say anything at this stage about the financial arrangements?

Sir J. Gilmour

No, Sir, not at this stage.

Mr. Burke

Will the Minister see that there is economic use of requisitioned ships, because some ships requisitioned since August have done only one week's sailing?

Miss Wilkinson

Does the right hon. Gentleman not now consider that the deleterious effect of the work of the National Shipbuilding Securities, Ltd., has left this country in such a position that there is not really sufficient shipping to requisition for this important work?

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