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Commercial Docks, Grimsby

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 16 July 1947

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58.

asked the Minister of Transport if he is aware that representations have been made to his Department and the Ministries of Food, Supply, Labour, and Board of Trade for the greater use of the Grimsby Commercial Docks whose trade today is approximately 40 per cent. of prewar; and, in view of the excellent facilities at these docks and the surplus labour now available, if he will set up an inter-departmental committee to investigate the possibility of their greater use.

My right hon. Friend is aware of these representations. The loss of exports of coal and of imports by the short sea routes has resulted in a reduction in the trade of Grimsby as compared with the years before the war, although there has been an improvement in the first six months of this year as compared with the corresponding period of 1946. My right hon. Friend does not think that an inter-departmental committee to consider the position of the port is required.

Will the Minister say when his Department will do something about this, because the men round this port did a very good job during the war and there is a lot of unemployment today? Surely his Ministry ought to do something for these people who are likely to be thrown out of work. Can anything he done?

Various Ministries are doing what they can to see that this port gets an increased amount of trade, but I would like to tell the hon. Gentleman than in the first six months of this year the trade of this port was about 64 per cent. of the 1938 level as against 40 per cent. during last year.