§ Mr. MACPHERSON
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that freight rates on steamers going from Glasgow to the Hebrides and the north-west coast of the mainland in Scotland have become prohibitive, the rate per ton for coal, for example, having risen from 5s. to 30s. in many places; and whether in view of the scarcity of other fuel in many places and the entire absence of it in others where there is a good deal of poverty, he will take such steps as are possible to restrict the excessive rate of freights asked by owners of vessels who have vessels free from Admiralty use?
The main reason for the present high freight rates is the prevailing shortage of tonnage for all purposes. Steps have been and are being taken with a view to decreasing this shortage, but I cannot take steps to restrict the particular rates referred to.