To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will set in hand an examination of the state of the British merchant shipping industry.
I am pleased to announce the setting up of a joint working party, under my chairmanship and that of the president of the General Council of British Shipping, to establish the present circumstances in which the British shipping industry operates both domestically and internationally. The working party has been asked to report no later than 14 September 1990.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the current size of the British merchant fleet in terms of (a) the total number of vessels and (b) total tonnage; and what were the comparable figures 10 and 20 years ago.
The information requested has been set out in the form of a table:
|Trading vessels registered in the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies of 500 gross registered tonnes (grt) and above|
|Date||Number of vessels||Tonnage|
|grt 000||dwt 000|
|31 March 1990||441||6,072||8,530|
|31 December 1979||1,305||25,232||41,221|
|31 December 1969||2,002||22,274||32,386|
|dwt = deadweight tonnage.|
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received concerning the size of the British merchant fleet; and if he will make a statement.
We receive representations from all sections of the shipping industry, including most recently NUMAST. I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. Speed) by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State earlier today, announcing the setting up of a joint working party with the General Council of British Shipping.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total number and tonnage of new merchant vessels registered in Britain in the last year for which figures are available.
Figures for new registrations of British ships are provided in the table, which shows separately the vessels registered in the United Kingdom's Crown dependencies and dependent territories. The figures relate to the calendar year 1989 and to trading vessels over 500 gross registered tonnes (grt).
|Dependent Territories excluding Hong Kong||18||274|