§ 59. Mr. PENNEFATHER
asked whether the object of the Government in assisting in the formation of British Dyes, Limited, was to establish a concern to provide dye users generally with dyes on the most reasonable terms possible, or to establish a concern trading with the object of obtaining high prices and making large profits for the benefit of its shareholders, and, if the former was the object, will the Government take steps to see that its intentions are carried out; and whether the 1475 Government will make money grants to other and competing concerns or to independent scientific bodies for experiment and research in order to increase the production and reduce the price of aniline dyes?
The objects which the Government have in view in the various steps which they have taken to promote the supply of dyes have been repeatedly explained to this House, and I cannot usefully add to these explanations. The whole question of Government assistance to scientific research for the benefit of British industry is at present receiving careful consideration.
§ Sir F. CAWLEY
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that several other manufacturers, who are also taxpayers, feel aggrieved that their competitors are receiving Government assistance which they cannot get?
The whole question of Government assistance for research in dyes is a matter which is receiving attention.
§ Mr. THEODORE TAYLOR
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the sorest point is not the granting of money for research, but the affording facilities for the transfer of raw material to Switzerland and bringing it back?
§ 60. Mr. PENNEFATHER
asked how much the present subscriptions to British Dyes, Limited, exceed the amount of the approved subscriptions on the date when the directors refused to go to allotment, on the ground that the subscriptions were inadequate; what, on the basis of the present subscriptions, is the total available cash working capital of British Dyes, Limited, after making due provision for its known liabilities; and if this present available capital is sufficient to carry out the objects for which the company was formed, as named in its prospectus?
I am unable to give the information desired, but I have no doubt that the directors satisfied themselves as to their ability to carry out the objects of the company before deciding to go to allotment.
§ Mr. PENNEFATHER
Is it not the fact that the Government have got two directors on the board of British Dyes, Limited, and is it not possible that questions which are asked in this House can be adequately answered?
Yes, the two Government directors are Sir Frank Forbes Adam and Sir Gilbert Claughton, but it would be most inconvenient that every detail of the company's management should be answered from here by Ministers. The administration of the company must obviously be conducted in the same way as the administration of other public companies.
§ Mr. PENNEFATHER
Is it not the fact that the great bulk of the capital in this concern at present has been authorised by this House and subscribed by the Government, and is this House not entitled to information on points which affect this very large sum of Government money?
In so far as the security of the money which has been advanced by the Government is concerned, the fullest information will be given to the House. It is not strictly accurate to say that the capital has been provided in exactly the way described by the hon. Gentleman, but I do not wish to press that point.