§ 11. Sir Robert Rankin
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of 1252 War Transport whether, in view of the widely-held opinion that existing rules for the measurement of ships' tonnage should be altered and a new and simple rule evolved, he will consider the setting up of a committee to draft proposals for international agreement.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport (Mr. Noel-Baker)
As my hon. Friend is, no doubt, aware, the rules for the measurement of shipping tonnage have recently been the subject of discussion by experts in the shipping Press. In this discussion, a wide divergence of opinion has appeared. It is plain, therefore, that any change in the present rules would necessitate elaborate inquiries by both shipowners and shipbuilders, as well as an international agreement with other maritime nations. For these reasons, as I think my hon. Friend will agree, it would not be opportune to undertake so long and difficult a task at the present time. I have, however, given instructions that his proposal shall be considered as soon as opportunity permits.