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German Timber (Shipment)

Volume 465: debated on Monday 23 May 1949

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27.

asked the Minister of Supply what were the freight and handling costs of importing 625 tons of timber from Blohm and Voss shipyard, Hamburg, in the s.s. "Stream Fisher," discharged at Leith on or about 10th May; and what steps are being taken to prevent a recurrence of the waste of public funds resulting from the import of poor quality, second-hand German timber of this nature.

The cost to the Ministry of Supply of shipping this timber was £1,640. My information is that the timber was shipped as a result of a misunderstanding. The Disposals Group in Hamburg have, however, already been asked for a full report and I will write to the hon. Member when the matter has been investigated.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in Scotland we look very closely upon the activities of his Department, that it causes us a great deal of disappointment that this import has taken place under a misunderstanding, and that we hope the right hon. Gentleman will do better in future?

My Department came into this transaction as a sort of shipping agency; we are not responsible. It does not follow that there will be any loss as a result of this transaction.

Is the Minister aware that in Scotland we are glad to get timber from anywhere?