HC Deb 22 September 1943 vol 392 cc251-2W
Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport what is the purpose of allowing an increase in the charges of the Man- chester Ship Canal, in view of the fact that practically the whole amount will be paid directly or indirectly by the Government and in view of the serious effect on the general price structure of such action?

Mr. Noel-Baker

The recent increase in the charges on the Manchester Ship Canal did not bring the new charges above the statutory maxima allowed by Parliament: it did not, therefore, require the authority of my Noble Friend. Indeed, he could only have prevented the increase by making an Order under the Defence Regulations: such an Order could only have been made for the purposes which the Regulations prescribe. The Canal Company submitted to him the statement of their financial position, on which their proposals for increased charges were based. After a careful examination of this statement, my Noble Friend decided that he would not be justified in making a restrictive order. He is, however, keeping the matter under review.