asked the Minister of Transport what has now been agreed as to the nature and composition of the authority which will issue orders to the Defence Shipping Pool; and whether details of the proposed arrangement will be contained in the White Paper dealing with the organisation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
As indicated in my reply to the hon. Member on 9th April, control over the employment of merchant shipping in time of war will be undertaken by a Defence Shipping Authority. This Authority will include representatives of all countries contributing shipping to the Pool and will be civilian in character. The organisation of the Authority is still under consideration by the North Atlantic Planning Board for Ocean Shipping. I understand that the White Paper to which the hon. Member refers will deal only with the military command system to be established within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.