HC Deb 01 February 1956 vol 548 cc911-2
11. Mr. Page

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation when he anticipates that he will receive the Report of the Ports Efficiency Committee which is investigating delays to road vehicles in dock areas.

Mr. Watkinson

The Committee is pursuing its inquiries as quickly as possible, but I cannot say when it will be able to present a Report on this matter.

Mr. Page

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate the urgency of this matter in that the lack of facilities in the ports for marshalling goods brought by road transport is not only increasing the cost of exports, but also the cost of imports? It is a matter of national urgency at the present time, particularly having regard to the efficiency achieved by Continental ports.

Mr. Watkinson

I know my hon. Friend's interest in this matter and, therefore, I am quite sure that he will appreciate, just as well as I do, the immense amount of work involved even in getting the basic statistics to enable the Ports Efficiency Committee to start the job.

Mr. Callaghan

While the Minister is awaiting these statistics and Report, will he inform ship-owners and exporters that there is neither congestion nor delay at the ports of Cardiff, Barry, Newport or Swansea in South Wales?

Mr. Watkinson

I shall be delighted to do so, and I am very obliged to the hon. Gentleman for doing it for me.

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