HC Deb 26 February 1920 vol 125 c1932W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Shipping whether he is aware that about 100 ships are waiting in north-eastern ports for cargoes of coal for the French Bay ports; whether some of them have been waiting a month because coal cargoes are not to be had; and whether he will order a considerable number of them to proceed to Bilbao in ballast in order to bring back the iron ore which is so greatly needed in this country?

Colonel WILSON

The Shipping Controller is aware of the general situation in north-eastern ports, but the majority of the vessels mentioned in the question are foreign vessels over which he has no power of direction. As regards British vessels, the suggestion in the latter part of the question is already being carefully considered.