§ 81. Mr. S. O. Davies
asked the Minister of Transport if he will take immediate steps to place dock charges in the South Wales ports on a par with those at Liverpool and London, particularly in view of the fact that the present rates in South Wales militate against greater use being made of its ports.
§ Mr. Callaghan
The docks at the principal ports in South Wales are vested in the British Transport Commission and 23W the question of dock charges is one for their consideration. There are, however, other factors involved, one of the most important of which is the division of charges in the ports between shipper and shipowner. This is essentially a commercial matter but my right hon. Friend is inviting the interests concerned to consider it.
§ 82. Mr. S. O. Davies
asked the Minister of Transport if he has considered the recent decision of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, a copy of which has been sent to him, urging that far greater use should be made of the South Wales ports of Cardiff, Barry and Swansea, because of the congestion and delay at certain English ports; and if he will make a statement on the position in the ports.
§ Mr. Callaghan
My right hon. Friend has seen references in the Press to the recent discussion in the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. The Working Party on the Turn-Round of Shipping commended to shipowners, and major importers and exporters, the possibility of saving time by the greater use of ports not working to full capacity and my right hon. Friend has asked them to consider what practical steps they can take to give effect to this recommendation. I am glad to say there has been an increase in both the coal and the general cargo traffic handled through Cardiff, Barry and Swansea this year compared with the corresponding period in 1947.