§ MR. CAINE
asked the Secretary of State for India, If there is any truth in the statement made by the Indian Correspondent of the "Economist" in the issue of November 11th, that Mr. Hope, the Minister of Public Works in India, has invited capitalists to come forward to establish ironworks in the Punjab and other districts of India, under the guarantee that the great Purchasing Department of Public Works will order a certain fixed weight of iron and steel every year for ten years; and, if so, will this order be given irrespective of the price at which equal quality of iron and steel can be purchased in the open market from other non-producing countries?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
Certain proposals of the nature to which the hon. Member refers were made in Resolutions of the Government of India of the 4th of August and of the 1st of September last, which were submitted for my consideration. I have informed, 1543 the Government of India that an engagement on their part to take fixed quantities of iron and steel at fixed prices annually for a term of years is, in my opinion, open to serious objection.