asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has considered the resolutions passed at a meeting of directors of the Incorporated Chambers of Commerce of the British Caribbean held at Port of Spain 10th–14th July, a copy of which has been sent to him, with particular reference to passenger shipping, differential freight rates to smaller Caribbean Colonies, and the difficulties of trade between Canada and the West Indies; and what action he is taking to meet the requests contained therein.
I have seen the resolutions of the Chambers of Commerce. As far as passenger shipping is concerned the shipping companies have been invited to submit proposals for improved services to the Caribbean but no practical plan has yet been submitted. Freight rates on cargo from this country to the Caribbean are not controlled by the Government, and no doubt those concerned in the West Indies are taking this matter up with the shipping lines. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of a Press announcement which was issued on 30th October about new arrangements in the West Indies to allow for a certain expansion of their imports from Canada.