HC Deb 25 February 1919 vol 112 c1627W
Colonel YATE

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Shipping Controller whether his attention has been called to the indignation felt in India at the excessive rates fixed by him for passages to and from England; and what steps have been taken to meet the grave situation created by his failure to reduce the present exorbitant charges?

Colonel L. WILSON

Representations have been made to the Shipping Controller on the subject of the civilian passenger rates at present in operation between the United Kingdom and India, and, in view of the misapprehension that appears to exist on the subject, I am glad to have this opportunity of explaining that the increase made in those rates during the War, heavy though it was, was not commensurate with the increase in insurance, wages, coal, provisions, and other operating expenses. The matter was reviewed shortly after the Armistice, but it was considered that the conditions did not then warrant any reduction. It has recently been again taken into consideration with the liner companies in connection with the arrangements for the release of tonnage from requisition, and I hope that an announcement on the subject will very shortly be made.