§ MR. RUNCIMAN (Dewsbury)
On behalf of the Junior Member for Old-ham (Mr. CHURCHILL), I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been drawn to the claim of Mr. W. D. Houghton, of the Sankey Wire Mills, Warrington, in respect of consignments of forgings for mountain guns, ordered by the Amir of Afghanistan, and manufactured by Messrs. Armstrong, Whitworth, and Company, and which have been detained by the Indian Government, although the Indian Government have allowed a German firm to deliver to the Amir both mountain guns and field pieces; and what were the reasons which induced the Government of India to accord preference to German manufacturers to the detriment of a Lancashire firm.
§ MR. BRODRICK
I have been in correspondence with the representatives of Mr. Houghton, and explained to them the position of the Government of India in the matter of his claims. Owing to a promise to permit the importation of certain German guns having been given to the predecessor of the present Amir by the Government of India in May, 1901, certain Krupp guns were allowed to pass to Kabul in the year 1902; but none have been since transmitted.