HC Deb 27 February 1940 vol 357 cc1871-2
21. Mr. Leslie Boyce

asked the Minister of Shipping whether he will give an assurance that before His Majesty's Government agree to any plan whereby American ships should take over the services in certain areas now performed by British ships in order to release those ships for service in areas barred to American vessels, a condition of any such arrangement shall be that any services so taken over by American vessels will be restored intact to British shipping at the conclusion of hostilities?

The Minister of Shipping (Sir John Gilmour)

This matter is one for discussion between the British and United States lines concerned, but I can assure my hon. Friend that I am fully aware of the importance of safeguarding the position of British shipping after the war and I will not overlook the considerations set out in his Question.

Mr. Boyce

Is the Minister in a position to make a statement as to whether discussions are now proceeding?

Sir J. Gilmour

Yes, Sir. I understand that some such discussions are proceeding.

Mr. Shinwell

The right hon. Gentleman says he "understands" that some such discussions are proceeding. Has he actual knowledge of these discussions?

Sir J. Gilmour

Yes, Sir. I have.