§ Mr. David Hunt
asked the Secretary of State for Trade what percentage share by tonnage of the direct cargo liner trade between the United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is carried in Soviet flag and United Kingdom flag ships, giving comparable figures for 1977, 1976 and 1975; what re-presentations have been made to the Russian Government; and with what success.
§ Mr. John Smith
The shares by tonnage are as follows:
Percentage 1975 1976 1977 United Kingdom flag 9.2 9.1 12.5 USSR flag 84.7 82.8 85.6
Agreement was reached when the Soviet Minister of Merchant Marine visited the United Kingdom in June 1977 that we should move towards parity of carryings between United Kingdom and Soviet ships. The introduction of a container vessel in the United Baltic Corporation service between Leningrad and Tilbury in July 1977 contributed towards the upturn in favour of the United Kingdom during 1977. We expect this trend to continue throughout 1978. Statistical returns for the first half-year show United Kingdom flag share at 15.1 per cent. and Soviet flag share at 81.7 per cent.