§ Mr. Hay
I understand what my hon. Friend means but, like this country, the Netherlands do not reserve their coastal trade to their own ships. My information is that in 1958 Dutch vessels represented only about 3 per cent. of the total number of ships operating in the 1274 coastal trade and only about 1 per cent. of the deadweight tonnage. We must keep this matter in perspective.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Is not that an astonishing reply, in view of the detrimental effect on British shipping of flags of convenience and flags of discrimination by other countries? Are we to undersand that the Government have now made up their mind that we are never to take retaliatory action in order to protect British shipping?