HC Deb 24 October 1916 vol 86 cc989-91W

asked the President of the Board of Trade what was the freight rate for grain from the Plate to the United Kingdom on the following dates: One month before the War broke out, the middle of 1915, the middle of 1916, and on 17th October?


The following are the average rates per ton for grain from Buenos Ayres to the United Kingdom: July, 1914, 10s. 6d.: July, 1915, 55s. 8d.; July, 1916, 150s. 4½d.; week ending 14th October, 117s 6d. The rates from up-river ports are usually a few shillings more. I should add that these figures are based on such charterings as are reported at the given dates, and do not refer to sailings at those dates, nor to the rates paid to liners.


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can state approximately the freight chargeable on coal from Great Britain to Ireland; whether he is aware of the increase in the price of coal, and that Irish coal merchants generally allege the main cause is the high freight charges and the difficulty of obtaining vessels; and whether he will adopt measures to regulate and moderate those rates, especially in regard to Dublin City supplies?


The present rates of freight on coal from South Wales ports to Ireland are reported to be:

To Dublin 12s. to 12s. 6d.
To Belfast 13s. to 13s. 6d.
To Cork 15s.
The Dublin rate is less than that to Cork or Belfast. I am afraid I cannot add to my previous statements on the subject of coal prices and freights.


asked the President of the Board of Trade at what rate is refrigerated beef carried from South Africa to London, and at what rate fruit, butter, cheese, and other goods carried in refrigerators?


The small insulated spaces in the Union-Castle steamers have not been requisitioned by His Majesty's Government, and I cannot say what rates have been or are being charged for the carriage of refrigerated produce in these spaces. When special cargoes of meat have been bought for the Allied Forces, a requisitioned steamer has been provided for their conveyance at moderate rates which have been agreed between the Government and the shipowners.


asked at what rate is meat carried from Australia and New Zealand; and at what rate fruit, rabbits, butter, cheese, and dairy produce?


The insulated spaces in ships from Australia and New Zealand have been requisitioned by His Majesty's Government on a fixed rate of charter money which has not been altered for the last eighteen months. I am not prepared to say what the terms are except that they are moderate. All the frozen beef, mutton, and lamb carried from Australia and New Zealand is the property of His Majesty's Government. When other refrigerated produce is carried in insulated spaces the Government charge the shipper's rates equivalent to the charter money.