§ Mr. Ian Lloyd
asked the Minister of Transport (1) what the maximum draughts and tonnages will be of the bulk carriers able to use the Tilbury grain terminal for which she has given sanction to the Port of London Authority, in 1968, 1975, and 1985, in the light of currently anticipated developments in the access lanes of the Thames river;
(2) what is the maximum draught and tonnage of bulk carriers currently able to discharge at the Isle of Grain terminal for which sanction was refused by her Department;
(3) what advice she has received from the National Ports Council on the draught and tonnage of bulk carriers likely to be in operation carrying the bulk of 260W European and United Kingdom grain requirements in 1968, 1975 and 1985;
(4) what effect she expects any restriction on the size of bulk carriers serving the Tilbury terminal to have on the landed costs of grain by comparison with those which are likely to be achieved at terminals capable of receiving, without navigational risks, the largest sizes of bulk carriers likely to be delivering grain in 1968, 1975, and 1985.
§ Mr. Swingler
Without dredging, the P.L.A. grain terminal will be capable of accepting vessels of up to 35,000 dwt.; the proposed Medway terminal would have accepted vessels of about 30,000 dwt. Present indications are that the United Kingdom grain trade could not absorb the quantities carried by larger vessels without incurring disproportionate expense on storage, but the Tilbury terminal could be developed by dredging to accept the largest vessels which are thought likely to be used in the European or United Kingdom grain trades in the foreseeable future. I do not expect the landed cost of grain at Tilbury to be adversely affected by port limitations.