Large Oil Tankers (Port Facilities)

Oral Answers to Questions — Shipping – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Stanley Awbery Mr Stanley Awbery , Bristol Central 12:00 am, 18th December 1957

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he is aware that five oil tankers are being constructed for the National Bulk Carriers, each of 104,500 tons dead weight, that none of these will be able to enter a British port because the facilities are not available for them, and that the berths contemplated at Milford are for vessels up to 80,000 tons: and if he will initiate further discussions to see that in the construction of the wharves, jetties, and dry-docks these will be made large enough to accommodate at least the largest vessel under construction at the time.

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

I am assured that these ships could be berthed at the facilities projected at Milford Haven and at those now being built at Finnart. Port authorities are very much alive to the need to provide for very large ships of this nature and I am in close touch with them on these matters.

Photo of Mr Stanley Awbery Mr Stanley Awbery , Bristol Central

Is the Minister aware that it was reported a few weeks ago that this port would take ships only up to 80,000 tons, and that it would be absurd to construct a new port at this period, when ships of 106,000 tons are being constructed? Since the Question was put on the Order Paper, I have been assured that the port will accommodate the larger ships which are now under construction.

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

The reason for bringing forward the Milford Haven Bill was that this very fine natural harbour will accommodate this type of ship and even larger ships, if necessary.