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"Aquitania" (Vacant Berths)

Volume 466: debated on Thursday 7 July 1949

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in the interest of the tourist industry, he will request the Tourist Board to investigate why the "Aquitania" which arrived from the United States of America on 25th May had a large number of vacant berths, and to report to him.

No, Sir. I do not think it necessary to have such an investigation. I have, however, myself had inquiries made of the shipping company, and understand that the "Aquitania" is at present primarily used to carry emigrants to Canada. Its accommodation is of a more austere type than in other ships and it is less popular with passengers.

Yes, but is not the existence of these vacant berths quite inconsistent with the statement made by the President of the Board of Trade on 21st June, when, claiming that the Government's policy of encouraging American tourists had been completely successful, he said that all accommodation on eastbound ships had been fully booked for many weeks past?

Yes, but I am sure that the hon. Member would not suggest that this ship should not be used for the emigrant traffic to Canada, and I am also sure that he would not suggest that we should use force to compel tourists to travel in the ship if they do not wish to do so.