§ 3. Sir PHILIP MAGNUS
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the supply of optical glass for the manufacture of lenses, prisms, and other optical instruments for the use of the Navy is keeping-pace with the immediate requirements of the Service; and what steps have been taken to increase the number of British sources from which the supply may be drawn?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
There has been delay, but so far not of a serious character in the supply of optical instruments for Naval Service. The Admiralty, War Office, and Board of Trade have been in communication on this matter, and as a result of joint action a large firm of makers in this country have greatly increased their output and are still adding to their plant.
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
May I point out that the right hon. Gentleman's answer referred to optical instruments. My question referred to the supply of optical glass, which is essential to the manufacture of optical instruments?
§ Mr. JOHN O'CONNOR
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has appointed a stone-wall Committee to prevent the granting of permission to anybody for the manufacture of this glass for optical instruments, and that there is a want of it all over the country; is he aware of the personnel of the Committee—the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of 697 London (Sir F. Banbury), the right hon. Member for Spen Valley (Sir Thomas Whittaker), and Lord St. Aldwyn—and that they have absolutely refused all permission to establish factories in Ireland that have been—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is putting a long series of questions, of which he should give notice.
§ 20. Sir P. MAGNUS
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether the supply of optical glass for the manufacture of lenses, prisms and other optical instruments for the use of the Army is keeping pace with the immediate requirements of the Service; and what steps have been taken to increase the number of British sources from which the supply may be drawn?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. H. Baker)
There has been some difficulty in procuring a sufficient supply of optical glass. The British supply is, however, being largely increased and is expected to prove sufficient. The matter is being carefully watched, and further measures will be taken if found necessary.
§ Mr. J. O'CONNOR
Is it not the fact that all the talk about the capture of German trade has been reduced by the Committee to which I referred a while ago, to a farce and a humbug?