HC Deb 24 March 1914 vol 60 cc176-7
22. Mr. NEWMAN

asked the Secretary of State for War how many petrol-driven chassis have been supplied to the Army for transport or aviation purposes, to date; the average cost per chassis; and whether of British or foreign manufacture?

Colonel SEELY

For general transport and aviation purposes 203 petrol-driven chassis have been supplied at an average cost per chassis of between £650 and £700. Twelve of these are of foreign manufacture.

Colonel BURN

Would it not be advisable, so far as possible, to give this work for the Army to British workmen?

Colonel SEELY

As I have said, out of the 203 petrol-driven chassis, twelve are of foreign manufacture. I do not think it would be wise to entirely limit oneself in this rapidly progressive art to none but what are made in this country. The figures I have given will show that the vast majority of the work in this case has been given to our own manufacturers.


Would it not be advisable that some of this work should be given to the Army Ordnance factories; they are slack at present?

Colonel SEELY

That is another matter; perhaps the hon. Gentleman will put down a further question?


Were the twelve bought recently, or are they old stock?

Colonel SEELY

I cannot carry in my head the dates on which all the various 203 petrol-driven chassis were obtained. The policy in this, as in all similar matters, is to obtain warlike material of all sorts in this country whenever we can get it as good as from abroad.


May the House take it that, as a general rule, the right hon. Gentleman always gives the advantage to the home-grown product?

Colonel SEELY

We have given the advantage to the home-grown product, as will be seen by the twelve out of 203. I cannot go further than the statement I have made, that in the purchase of warlike material it is considered advisable, for obvious reasons, to obtain the bulk of that warlike material in this country.