§ MR. LONSDALE
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that for the dredging work to be carried out by the Whangpo Conservancy at Shanghai no British firms were asked to tender, although estimates were invited from French, German, and Dutch firms, and the work was given to a Dutch syndicate whose tender was the highest; whether, by the terms of the Conservancy Convention of 1905, all work was to be submitted to public tender; and whether he is aware of the reasons for the exclusion of British firms from tendering for this work.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
It is a fact that by the terms of the Whangpo Conservancy Arrangements of 1905 all work has to be submitted to public tender; and I am not aware that in the present case these terms have been departed from. Dutch, French, German, and Japanese firms competed for the first contract for the building of a jetty and the dredging of the main channel; but no tender, I am informed, was forthcoming from the United Kingdom, though I have heard no reason given for this. Inquiry will be made.