§ Mr. James Johnson
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what progress was made in the recent bilateral shipping discussions with the USSR.
§ Mr. Clinton Davis
I visited Moscow from 18th-22nd October for further discussions with the Soviet Minister of Merchant Marine, notably on the question of rate undercutting and the provision of excessive capacity by Soviet shipping lines. The outcome was disappointing, in that the Soviet side declined to take early steps to solve specific problem cases, although it remained willing to talk in general terms about an accommodation with Western shipping interests. We shall now be considering jointly with our EEC partners and others the question of an appropriate Western response to the shipping practices of the Eastbloccountries.