HC Deb 19 May 1958 vol 588 cc889-90
47. Mr. Short

asked the Paymaster-General if he will give a general direction to the National Coal Board that they are to ensure that all ships chartered by the Board to import mining materials are registered in Great Britain.

Sir I. Horobin

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply I gave to similar Questions last week.

Mr. Short

While no one wishes to tie the hands of the National Coal Board permanently in this matter, does not the hon. Gentleman agree that while there is a slump in British shipping, with so many ships laid up around the coast, the Board should charter British ships for the time being?

Sir I. Horobin

I think we must stick to the general principle that we cannot run this industry from this Box. This is a question entirely for the National Coal Board in the exercise of its ordinary commercial discretion.

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