HC Deb 28 July 1953 vol 518 cc1066-7
7. Mr. Awbery

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the total amount of British capital invested in Panamanian shipping companies; and what action he is taking to discourage British investors from using a foreign flag in order to avoid their obligations under the Merchant Shipping and other Acts.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I regret that the information is not available. I cannot trace any applications for approval to remit money for this purpose during recent years. If such an application were made it would be considered on its merits.

Mr. Awbery

Is the Chancellor aware of the continued reports of British capital invested in ships that carry the Panama flag and that this is done in order that the shipowner may avoid his obligations under the Merchant Shipping Act, and that the men are employed at a substandard wage? Will he discourage this practice and inform bona fide shipowners that he will do all he possibly can to help them in their struggle against these kind of investors?

Mr. Butler

Yes, I will certainly consider any information which the hon. Member can send me which will help me to investigate the matter.