§ SIR GEORGE BADEN-POWELL
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether a contract for conveying to Calcutta 11,000 tons of Middlesbrough rails has been given to the German "Hansa" Line of steamers, for the reason that the German tender was 6d. per ton lower than any English tender, making a total difference on the contract of £275; whether he is aware that in the case of loss by collision by fault of the captain the only redress against a German ship is recovery of the sunken wreck, whereas a British ship-owner would be liable up to £8 per ton register; whether the matter of insurance has hitherto been considered of such importance by the Secretary of State for India that he has refused shipowners the benefit of the negligence clause; and whether he can state what steps have been taken in this case to insure the said rails, and at what cost?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Mr. HENRY FOWLER,) Wolverhampton
No contract for conveying rails to Calcutta has been entered into on behalf of the Secretary of State for India with any foreign firm, the shipment of Government stores being confined to vessels sailing under the British flag. In cases where the manufacturer undertakes to deliver goods in Calcutta at his own risk, he of course chooses his own means of conveyance.