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Cross-Channel Sailings (Northern Ireland)

Volume 441: debated on Monday 28 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Transport whether he is satisfied that the number of sailings of cross-channel vessels now permitted from Great Britain to Northern Ireland can meet all reasonable demands during the holiday season.

While it cannot be guaranteed that every intending traveller to or from Northern Ireland will be able to get a passage on certain days during the peak holiday period, I am advised that, with the additional sailings recently authorised, the services will be reasonably adequate in all the present circumstances.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how far ahead it is necessary to book passages to Northern Ireland from Liverpool or Heysham? How many days does it take?

Can the Minister assure the House that travelling facilities are adequate for those who seek the carefree and democratic atmosphere of Southern Ireland?

I cannot give an assurance that facilities are adequate for anybody to go anywhere just now.

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider whether the "Princess Margaret," now lying up at Stranraer, which is only used on Fridays and Saturdays, could not run a daylight service as she used to do before the war?

I would remind hon. Members that the problem is not so much one of providing adequate capacities, but of ensuring that the shipping services make their contribution to the saving of coal during the summer.

Is the Minister aware that Northern Ireland is a very popular and desirable place for holidays, as distinct from permanent residence, and would he see that everything is done to meet the great demand for shipping holiday-makers to Northern Ireland?