HC Deb 15 November 1920 vol 134 cc1543-4W
Commander BELLAIRS

asked (1) the President of the Board of Trade the exports of china clay from the port of Fowey to the United States in 1913 and in 1919; whether the demand is greater than the supply owing to the failure of the Great Western Railway Company to complete the loading facilities commenced at Fowey before the War; whether he can induce the railway company to press forward the completion of this work, having regard to the monopoly which Fowey possesses as an exporting port for china clay;

(2) the Minister of Transport whether there is a real desire on the part of American companies to import china clay from Cornwall owing to its superiority to the local product; whether about 90 per cent, is shipped at Fowey, where the docks and loading facilities are owned by the Great Western Railway Company; and whether, having regard to the fact that while one of the jetties with an electric tip can deal with 1,500 tons a day the remaining six jetties have practically no loading facilities, he will use his good offices to induce the railway company rapidly to complete the eighth jetty, which was commenced before the War and is designed to deal with 3,500 tons a day, and so help the trade of the country?


As the facilities at Fowey have been receiving the close attention of the Ministry of Transport for a considerable time, I have been asked to reply to these questions. The exports of china clay (including Cornish or china stone) from Fowey to the United States were as follow:—

1913 162,311 tons, value £188,632.
1919 167,680 tons, value £414,731.
I am informed that the shipments from Fowey represent some 90 per cent. of the total exports of clay to the United States. The Great Western Railway Company own the loading facilities at Fowey, consisting at present of seven jetties, one of which has an electric belt conveyor; the remaining six jetties are equipped with cranes for handling clay in bags or casks and general inwards traffic. An eighth jetty, which was commenced before the War, is being equipped with an electric belt conveyor. The railway company are fully alive to the situation, and are pressing forward the work of construction, which they hope to have completed by May, 1921.