HC Deb 23 October 1956 vol 558 c455
1. Mr. Peyton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the continuing unfair competition which the British shipowners have to meet from merchant shipping registered under flags of convenience; that it is estimated that the Cunard Line would have saved £14 million in taxation between 1949 and 1954 if their ships had been registered under such flags ; and if he will now give further consideration to taxation relief.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

lam well aware of this problem, and its complexities. Meanwhile, I have helped British shipping companies in the Finance Act by allowing them to retain investment allowances in respect of expenditure on new ships.

Mr. Peyton

While acknowledging all that my right hon. Friend has done, to which he has referred, does he not realise that this present crushing burden of taxation on shipping companies is such as is likely to cripple their competitive power, and, with it, to diminish the vastly important prestige of this industry?

Mr. Macmillan

As I have said, this is a very difficult problem, to which I am giving careful study.