HC Deb 16 March 1894 vol 22 c439
SIR A. HICKMAN (Wolverhampton, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to a statement made upon the business card of Monsieur Guido Cloes, the London agent of the Belgian firm Les Usines and Fonderies De Baume and Marpent Company, and widely distributed amongst buyers of railway material in this country, to the effect that they have supplied 10,000 axle boxes to the Indian State Railways; and whether, if incorrect, he will give a positive and authoritative contradiction, in order to prevent that statement continuing to be used as evidence of quality, and in order to induce English buyers to give their orders abroad?


No contract has ever been given to Les Usines and Fonderies De Baume and Marpent Company for axle boxes for Indian State railways; but it has now been ascertained by inquiry from the agent of that company that 9,356 axle boxes were manufactured by them for M. Valère Mabille, to whom two orders for axle boxes for Indian State railways were given in the year 1884. The first order for 8,100 was given to M. Valère Mabille after an open competition, in which his tender for delivery in London was the lowest. A smaller order was subsequently added after a second competition. I may mention that, after the order in question had been given, Lord Kimberley, who was Secretary of State at the time, laid down a new Rule, the object and effect of which was to secure that no order should be placed abroad except for special or urgent reasons.