HC Deb 14 November 1939 vol 353 cc504-5
3. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Minister of Shipping whether he can make a statement on the allocation of shipping to meet the needs of the Cereal Board and the transport of coal, respectively?

Sir J. Gilmour

In the long distance trades, available United Kingdom tonnage is directed by the Ship Licensing Committee to meet requirements for the import of cereals and other essential commodities. It has not yet been found necessary to impose special direction as regards transport of coal overseas. In the coasting and near seas trades, arrangements are made by co-operation between the interests concerned and the local committees established at the principal ports and acting under my direction.

Mr. Shinwell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the difficulties experienced in the shipment of coal and also cereals, and can he say what he proposes to do about it?

Sir J. Gilmour

I am aware that war conditions have materially interfered with the transport of some of these articles, but I think these are being gradually alleviated.

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