§ 63. Mr. Shinwell
asked the Minister of Transport if he will make a statement on the decision of the United States Maritime Commission which concerns the freight charge contracts between British shipping firms and British shippers.
§ 64 and 65. Mr. Wade
asked the Minister of Transport (1) whether he will 202W seek to arrange a meeting of representatives from this country and the United States of America concerned with the encouragement of trade between Great Britain and the United States of America to discuss the adverse effects on such trade which may be caused by the demand by the Federal Maritime Commission that dual freight rates negotiated by British shippers should be abolished;
(2) what representations Her Majesty's Government have made, or propose to make, to the Government of the United States of America on the subject of the adverse effects on British shipping and British export trade which may be caused by the demand by the Federal Maritime Commission that dual freight rates negotiated by British shippers should be abolished.
§ 66. Mr. Webster
asked the Minister of Transport what steps he is taking following the recent demands by the United States Federal Maritime Commission that British shipowners should cancel existing freight contracts.
§ Mr. Marples
On 20th March, the Federal Maritime Commission issued orders that shipowners and traders should break their existing dual rate contracts and sign new ones in terms later to be pronounced by the Commission. These orders purport to apply wherever in the world a contract was negotiated, whether or not either party to it is American, and whether or not American goods or ships are involved. Organisations representing traders and shipowners in this country, after consulting the Government, have advised their members flat contracts executed in this country should be left in force. This assumption of a unique right on the part of America to control commercial practices throughout the world is so clearly objectionable that I cannot believe the Commission realises what it is trying to do, especially as in this particular matter the practical issues may not be of the first importance. A note will be sent to the American Government.
§ Dame Irene Ward
asked the Prime Minister what action he has taken with the Government of the United States of America resulting from the representations made to him by British shipping interests protesting against the action of the Federal Maritime Commission.203W
§ Mr. Marples
I have been asked to reply.
I would refer my hon. Friend to the Answer I gave today to the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) and the hon. Members for Huddersfield, West (Mr. Wade) and Weston-super-Mare (Mr. Webster).