HC Deb 09 February 1949 vol 461 c368
40. Mr. Douglas Marshall

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many banana-carrying ships were owned by Jamaica in April, 1939; how many are now so owned; how many Jamaican vessels were sunk in the late war; and how many vessels have now been handed to the Jamaican Government since the cessation of hostilities.

Mr. Creech Jones

All ships which carry bananas from Jamaica to this country are privately owned. The greater part of the crop is carried by Messrs. Elders and Fyffes, a United Kingdom company, whose ships are registered here. The remainder are carried by the Jamaica Banana Producers' Steamship Company Limited, which owned four ships in 1939, of which three were lost in the war. They are still operating the remaining ship.

Mr. Marshall

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether His Majesty's Government have chartered a new refrigerator ship for Jamaica and, if so, whether there is any subsidy involved?

Mr. Creech Jones

I am not aware of any subsidy, but there is an additional ship on the West Indian route.

Mr. Skinnard

Is that additional ship a new ship from a Belgian yard chartered to the Jamaica Banana Producers' Association?

Mr. Creech Jones

That is under consideration, I think.