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Defence Shipping Authority

Volume 486: debated on Monday 9 April 1951

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asked the Minister of Transport whether he will make a statement in regard to the negotiations carried out in Washington in November, 1950, and in February and March, 1951, by representatives of his Department and representatives of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in regard to plans for pooling British and foreign merchant ships in time of war.

At their Washington meeting in November, 1950, the North Atlantic Planning Board for Ocean Shipping discussed the principles which should govern the control over the employment of merchant shipping in time of war and prepared a plan of the Allied shipping organisation to be named the Defence Shipping Authority, which should be set up in war to implement these principles. This plan is based largely on the arrangements in force at the end of the last war. In March, 1951, a small Working Group of the Planning Board, which included British representatives, drafted a report on the subordinate machinery of the proposed Authority. This report is to be considered at the next meeting of the Planning Board in London later this month. I should add that both sides of the British shipping industry are being fully consulted at all stages of this planning and are in full agreement with the arrangements made.