There is some evidence that shipments have been deferred until after 26th April, but it is too early to judge what these will amount to. It is not the practice to publish estimates of future imports.
Are there not reports of the widest hold-up of goods on this occasion, and will the Government take steps on the next occasion before they reduce the surcharge not to give advance notice so that this does not happen again?
Surely, the hon. Gentleman is not trying to minimise the consequences of the Government's action. Does he deny the reports which we have all seen in the newspapers that goods have been held back by the Scandinavian countries, Italy, France, Germany and Belgium, and also that vessels have had to be specially chartered in order to deliver the goods which have been delayed?