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Maritime Fleet

Volume 127: debated on Friday 12 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the size in tonnes of the maritime fleet owned and registered in the United Kingdom in 1979 and that for the latest period for which figures are available, what information he has about the corresponding trend in other major European Community fleets over the same period; and what recent discussions have taken place with the European Commission and in the Council of Ministers regarding likely future developments, including the subject of aid to fleets.

The available information is as follows:

Table 1
Deadweight tonnage of trading vessels 500 grt and over owned and registered in the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies
Million tonnes
End 197936·6
End 19879·5
Table 2
Deadweight tonnage of trading vessels 100 grt and over registered in other European Community Countries with major fleets
Million tonnes
Mid-1979Mid 1987
Greece63·342·6
France20·68·2
Italy19·012·0
Spain13·68·0
Federal Republic of Germany13·55·5
Denmark8·96·8
Netherlands8·24·7

Note: Statistics above are not entirely compatible:

(i) United Kingdom figures are based on vessels of 500 grt or over since ownership information is not available for vessels below this threshold;

(ii) United Kingdom figures are end-year; figures in table 2 are mid-year;

(iii) Figures in table 2 relate only to registration. Ownership information is not available.

The Council of Ministers requested the Commission in December 1986 to produce proposals aimed at the harmonisation of state aids and improving the competitiveness of the European fleets. Commissioner Clinton Davis assured the Council of Ministers last December that this was being pursued, and I hope that proposals will be received shortly.