§ Mr. FIELD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the Ericsson Shipping Company, owning two steamers—one of them sunk in October last—earned 150 per cent.; whether he can take any further measures to control and reduce the freights now levied by shipowners; whether he can state the price of coal recently charged in Southport and that charged in Dublin; and whether the difference in price is mainly caused by rates for carriage by railway and shipping companies?426W
A Press report states that the total dividend paid was 20 per cent. and the credit balance shown in the profit and loss account was 67 per cent of the capital. No statement was made as to the trade in which these two vessels were employed. The questions of the supply of tonnage and rates of freight are constantly before the Government, and measures have been taken, and will continue to be taken, to control shipping in the national interest. I am not in a position to state precisely the average difference in the price of coal in Dublin and Southport respectively, but the difference is no doubt mainly due to carriage charges.