HC Deb 12 December 1939 vol 355 cc1001-2
18. Mr. A. Jenkins

asked the Minister of Shipping whether arrangements are being made to supply an adequate amount of shipping tonnage to meet the increased demand for coal from this country to markets overseas, particularly France?

The Minister of Shipping (Sir John Gilmour)

Every effort is being made in this direction. The allocation of ships for the carriage of coal to France is being dealt with by the Anglo-French Permanent Executive Committee for Shipping, in consultation with the Anglo-French Coal Requirements Committee.

Mr. Jenkins

Is the Minister satisfied that there is adequate shipping to meet the demands of France?

Sir J. Gilmour

There have been various factors in the increased demand for coal and t;he disappearance of neutral tonnage has affected the position, but we are doing everything we can to expedite the matter.

Mr. Boothby

Does my right hon. Friend keep under consideration the possibility of purchasing ships in foreign countries where it is profitable to do so?

Sir J. Gilmour

Yes, Sir.