HC Deb 17 June 1915 vol 72 cc768-9

asked the Minister of Munitions whether Canadian manufacturers of munitions are required to deal with the Imperial Government through the agency of Messrs. Morgan, of New York; whether any Canadian firm able and willing to supply large quantities of munitions direct to His Majesty's Government has refused to transact business through an agency in the United States; and whether he intends to adhere to a condition which is resented by manufacturers of British nationality, and unnecessarily hampers and limits the supply of munitions of war?


The answer to the first and third parts of the question is that Messrs. Morgan's agency extends only to orders executed in the United States. Orders for the manufacture of certain classes of munitions in Canada are placed through the Shell Committee, an organisation of Canadian manufacturers set up for the purpose by the Dominion Government. The second part of the question appears to refer to a proposal made by a Canadian manufacturer, whose firm is supplying munitions under orders from the Shell Committee, to organise a group of American firms for the production of shells in the United States. The manufacturer declined to negotiate through Messrs. Morgan, and in view of the risk of interference with contracts already placed the War Office considered that it would be unwise to adopt his scheme except with Messrs. Morgan's co-operation. I see no reason for dissenting from that view I may say I am arranging to send a big business man over to the United States to discuss the whole position of American and Canadian contracts on the spot.