HC Deb 03 April 1963 vol 675 cc44-5W
55. Mr. Awbery

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware of the continuing concern in the shipping industry about the discrimination which is being shown by certain countries against British ships and cargoes; which countries now adopt this practice; how the discrimination is exercised; what representations have now been made to the Governments concerned; what have been the results; and what further action he now intends to take to remedy this situation.

Mr. Marples

I am well aware of and share the concern of the shipping industry about flag discrimination. The way in which it is exercised varies: in some cases legislation reserves specific proportions or certain categories of trade to national ships; in others, the means used are not published, but the effect is the same.

Discrimination is experienced in many parts of the world. The most recent representations made by Her Majesty's Government have been to Morocco and Uruguay, but diplomatic efforts are continuous in many countries to forestall or correct their discrimination.

I do not pretend that our efforts have been as effective as we could have wished. Our best hope lies in co-operation with the European maritime nations who share our views.

The meeting of Ministers from ten European countries which was held at Lancaster House on the 15th March agreed unanimously to work in unison to ensure liberal treatment for shipping. It was decided to begin a detailed study of the ways and means of resisting flag discrimination, and to hold a further meeting later this year.

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