HC Deb 11 April 1956 vol 551 c178
3. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation to what extent there has been an increase in the numbers of merchant vessels leaving this country in ballast seeking cargo in the North American ports during the past two months; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Watkinson

Some 201 merchant vessels of all flags left the United Kingdom in ballast during January and February, 1956, bound for North American ports as compared with 205 vessels during the corresponding two months of 1955. There does not appear to be anything exceptional in these movements.

Mr. Thomas

Does this represent any considerable increase during the past few years?

Mr. Watkinson

As far as I can see from the figures, no.