§ 2. Mr. G. Thomas
asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what percentage proportion of our total Merchant Service was represented by ore-carrying ships, tankers and liners, respectively, in 1939 and in 1956.
§ Mr. Watkinson
In September, 1939, 57 per cent. of the gross tonnage of the United Kingdom Merchant Fleet was liners and 18 per cent. tankers. The corresponding percentages in January, 1956, were 51 per cent. and 28 per cent. 178 There were no vessels specially constructed to carry ore in the United Kingdom fleet in 1939. There were ten such vessels at 1st January, 1956, but their total tonnage was less than half of 1 per cent. of the total fleet.