Government and shipping officials met in London this morning (Friday) to discuss the United States demand for new trans-Atlantic freight contracts.
LV Cargo ship
MV Cargo going aboard (2 shots)
MV Interview with Mr Springings (SOF)
TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ 3) Interviewer: "Mr. Srigings, what were the shipowners trying to get the Government to do at this morning's meetings?
Mr. Sprigings: We were trying to get the Government clear on the jurisdictional issues, and of course some of the objectionable features in the contract for themselves.
Interviewer: You feel the Government are on your side?
Mr. Sprigings: Oh, without question - they are giving us whole-hearted support.
Interviewer: What happens now then?
Mr. Sprigings: Well, we are now waiting for the complete legal opinion, which means the lawyers in Washington and the lawyers on this side of the Atlantic have got to give us their opinion on a new form of contract. After that it will go through the customary channels for development.
Interviewer: How long will all this take?
Mr. Sprigings: I would think it will be three or four months before we get anything finalised on this.
Interviewer: What will happen during these three or four months?
Mr. Sprigings: We continue with the present form of contract....
Interviewer: Do you feel that, in view of what the Americans have said today, that things aren't quite as bad as you at first thought.
Mr. Sprigings: Well, I think that there are reasonable grounds for a compromise if we are all sensible and get down to brass-tacks.
Interviewer: The Americans obviously have got some rights to say what happens to ships going into their ports?
Mr. Sprigings: I think so - equally as we have rights for American ships coming into British ports.
Interviewer: On the whole though would you say optimistic or pessimistic about the satisfactory outcome to the British point of view?
Mr. Sprigings: Oh, I must be optimistic - because trade must continue between the two countries.
EDITORS: REFER ALSO TO PROD. NO. 3208 SERVICED APRIL 2 '64. "UK: TRANS-ATLANTIC SHIPPING ROW.")
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Government and shipping officials met in London this morning (Friday) to discuss the United States demand for new trans-Atlantic freight contracts. The dispute has arisen after a message from the United States Maritime Commission delivered to British shipowners on Wednesday telling them to cancel their existing trans-Atlantic freight contracts. Shipowners described the United States demands as "gross interference."
After this morning's meeting, a Chairman of one of the shipping associations, Mr. Victor Sprigings was interviewed:
(Meanwhile, speaking at a Press Conference today Mr. Dean Rusk, the American Secretary of State, said his Government would get in touch with the countries involved in the dispute to try to work out a solution. He said the dispute about the regulations was "not something that can be dismissed with a slogan about sovereignty, or interference - this is a highly technical matter". The new regulations officially come into force at midnight tonight.)