§ SIR CHAELES McLAREN
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether, in the case of the orders for tyres and axles recently given by the Indian railways to German makers, tin-specification as to analysis and breaking tests on which the German makers tendered was identical with that on which the English makers tendered; 1315 whether inspectors on behalf of the Indian railways were attached to the German works during the execution of the contracts; whether any, and if any, what tests were imposed on the tyres and axles when delivered; and whether he will in future, in cases where an order is given to a foreign firm, cause the lowest price tendered by an English firm together with the price taken by the foreign firm, to be published here.
§ MR. BRODRICK
In the case of the order for wheels and axles recently given by the Secretary of State in Council to German manufacturers, to which I presume the hon. Member refers, the specification as to analysis and breaking tests was identical with that on which the English makers tendered. Inspectors on behalf of the Secretary of State are attached to the German works during the execution of this contract. A copy of the specification showing the tests can be handed to the hon. Member if he so desires. I do not propose to depart from the established practice of declining to divulge the prices at which German, or any other firms, have tendered.
§ SIR THOMAS DEWAR (, St. George's) Tower Hamlets
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India if he will state the number and value of contracts for railway plant placed by Indian railways with foreign makers during the last five years, and what percentage of these contracts were secured by German firms.
§ MR. BRODRICK
The contracts entered into with foreign firms by the Secretary of State in Council in respect of material for Indian State railways during the last five years are eight in number, their total value is £135,567; and 25 per cent. of these contracts were secured by German firms. As regards contracts made by Indian railway companies, I am unable to give the information asked for. I may add that the total orders for material given during this period a mounted to £4, 200,000. The percentage, therefore, of orders given to foreign firms was 3½ of the whole.