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Government Assistance

Volume 641: debated on Sunday 7 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the fact that the Government have decided that aid to the Cunard Steamship Company in relation to the maintenance of an express passenger service on the North Atlantic is desirable in the national interest, he will consider other cases where equally cogent reasons can be shown for Government help.

The Government's view is that the circumstances which impelled them to help in the maintenance of the British trans-Atlantic express passenger service are unique.

Is the Minister aware that the suggestion in this Question is one of the recommendations of the General Council of British Shipping? I think it is also supported by his own sub-committee on shipbuilding. Will he not agree that it would be helpful if he could say to the other shipping areas, Belfast and Tyneside, that when the new Cunarder comes to Clydeside, as already promised, they too will have his attention with regard to this sort of development?

In reply to the second part of that supplementary question, the new "Queen" has not been promised to any particular yard. It will go according to merit. In regard to the first part of the supplementary question, if the General Council of British Shipping has any application to make no doubt it will make it, and we shall look at it when it is made. I do not think it can find comparable circumstances.