HC Deb 15 December 1952 vol 509 c964
44. Mr. Erroll

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that the requirement that 50 per cent. of the commodities shipped from the United States of America to the United Kingdom under the Mutual Security Act must be carried in American ships and, at the American rate for such ships, is having the effect not only of depriving British ships of cargoes, particularly in the sulphur and coarse grain trades, but also of enabling American owners to obtain a much higher rate for the carriage of these commodities than the open market rate at which they are carried on equivalent voyages by British and other non-American ships; and what action is being taken to stop this discriminatory practice.

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Alan Lennox-Boyd)

Yes, Sir, I am aware of the position, but I would remind my hon. Friend that it arises solely as a result of conditions attached by the United States Congress to the provision of financial aid.

As regards the shipping discrimination involved, the views of Her Majesty's Government are well known to the United States Government.

Mr. Erroll

Will my right hon. Friend press the matter once again as it is quite obvious that it was never intended that there should be this discrimination in favour of United States shipowners, particularly as it involves this country in an additional expenditure of dollars?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I do not think the United States Government are in any doubt about our views on the matter, which we have represented both on our own and as members of the O.E.E.C., but, in order to see this matter in perspective, I must point out that while, in the relevant period, we spent 4,500,000 dollars on freight, we received aid to the value of 300 million dollars.

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