§ MR. CODDINGTON
asked the Secretary of State for India, If it is the fact that a single firm of brokers have re- 1294 cently been appointed to do the whole shipping business of the India Office in London and most of the outports; and, if so, why this change has been made?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
Sir, it appeared that the former system of taking up all freight, as a rule, by open tender, gave openings for combination among the brokers against the interests of the Government, and, in consequence, a new system has been adopted for six months as an experiment. A firm of shipping brokers is now employed to obtain and submit for consideration offers of freight for India, in order that, through them, the India Office may be assisted in ascertaining the state of the shipping market, and in conducting the necessary negotiations and shipping arrangements with a view to securing favourable terms. The results have, so far, been very satisfactory.