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All-British Steamship Service

Volume 180: debated on Thursday 15 August 1907

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I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade, whether his attention has been called to the speech of Earl Grey at Halifax, Nova Scotia, declaring that the natural geographical advantages of the Dominion were destroyed by the colossal Imperial blunder of subsidising mail steamers to New York; and whether His Majesty's Government will intimate to the Cunard Company that they are willing to permit that company to substitute a Canadian port for New York in the existing contract.

I have seen a brief telegraphic summary of a speech by Earl Grey to which my honourable friend doubtless refers. As regards the last part of the question I shall be happy to submit my honourable friend's scheme to the informal Committee which is examining practical proposals for the establishment of an all-British steamship service and I have no doubt that it will be carefully considered together with other schemes having a similar object.

asked if the right hon. Gentleman was in a position to tell the House what subsidy it was proposed to give by the Treasury to the all-red route.

asked if it was not a fact that an alteration in the present mail service would not be justified unless a fast bi-weekly steamship service to Canada were established on a scale equivalent to that afforded by the Cunard Company's present service.

Who is responsible for what is described by Earl Grey as "the colossal Imperial blunder in subsidising mail steamers to New York"?

I do not think that those were the words used by Earl Grey. My recollection is that he was denouncing the Cunard subsidy, and with that I cordially agree.