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Cunard Company (Assisted Insurance)

Volume 244: debated on Tuesday 4 November 1930

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is yet in a position to make any statement about the intention of the Government to carry part of the insurance on one or both of the ships to he built for the Cunard Company, subject to the payment of a premium; and will he state whether he will accept further marine insurance business of a similar nature?

The nature of the proposals for assisting the Cunard Company in the matter of insurance will, I hope, be explained to the House very shortly. They apply only to one or at the most two ships of a specially high value.

Will this cover be continued when the vessels go to sea or only when they are building?

I shall be very grateful to my hon. Friend if he will defer these questions because I propose to give a detailed explanation to the House when this matter comes before it.

As this is a departure from the usual practice, will the right hon. Gentleman produce a White Paper before the debate showing exactly what we are doing?

I am not sure whether a White Paper will accompany the Financial Resolution, but I will bear it in mind. In any case, hon. Members will have full and exact information.

Does not the right hon. Gentleman see the advantage of all these statements being made to the House before the discussion begins?

I am not responsible for any discussions which have taken place in the newspapers and outside. I have to conduct the negotiations.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, while this company has been seeking Government assistance, it has at the same time been discharging its workers of 65 years and over and will he also bear that fact in mind?

May I ask whether it has been decided that one of these new Cunarders is to come to the Tyne?