§ Mr. Ward
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement on the attitude of Her Majesty's Government to the decision of the courts in the United States of America that the liner conference system is in breach of United States anti-trust legislation; and if he will seek powers to impose reciprocal penalties on United States shipping lines.
§ Mr. Tebbit
My right hon. Friend has already made a statement expressing Her Majesty's Government's grave concern at the recent prosecution by the United States of America authorities of British shipping interests and British nationals for alleged violations of United States of America anti-trust laws. Shipping in an international activity, affecting the interests of both countries. Any questions that arise should therefore be dealt with jointly, and we consider it wrong in principle for the United States to exercise unilateral control over shipping between the two countries in disregard both of Her Majesty's Government's economic interests and its shipping policies.
As my right hon. Friend has already announced, the United Kingdom, as a result of the United States of America authorities action, will be reviewing its attitude towards co-operation with the United States of America in anti-trust questions and on the enforcement in the United Kingdom of United States of America anti-trust judgments.