§ Captain Kerby
asked the Minister of Transport, in view of the unsettled conditions at present prevailing in the Middle East, how many long-range tankers capable of using the Cape route are available under the British flag today; and what were the comparable figures for eight years ago.
§ Mr. Marples
The Government do not accept the assumption made in the first part of my hon. and gallant Friend's Question. All tankers except some designed for the coastal and short-sea trades are capable of using the Cape route. Tankers of 1,600 gross tons and over on the U.K. register totalled 7.7 91W million gross tons at the beginning of 1964, compared with 5.1 million gross tons at the beginning of 1956. The corresponding figures for tankers of 20,000 gross tons and over are 3.9 million gross tons for 1964 and 0.2 million gross tons for 1956.