§ Mr. THORNE
asked the President of the Board of Trade the number of shipping firms which received grants from the Trade Facilities Act, and the number of shipping companies which receive payment for Government services carrying mails and Government stores or for service on the declaration of war?
§ Major ELLIOT
Thirty-nine shipping firms received guarantees under the Trade Facilities Acts. In the course of the year, a very large number of ships is used for performing some work for Government Departments—in fact nearly all British lines running to and from the United Kingdom as well as a number of tramp owners carry some Government freight from time to time and receive payment for that service. The number of such companies could not be given without considerable labour and it would not 1535W appear to serve any useful purpose. No payment is made for ships with a view to their being taken up for Government service in time of war.