HC Deb 12 May 1915 vol 71 cc1632-3

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the number of armament patents being worked by Messrs. Krupp, the Deutschewaffenfabrik, the Mauserfabrik, the Slodawerke, and other German and Austrian manufacturers of war munitions; will he consider the adoption of proposals for the special taxation of such royalties as may accrue to British firms; will he bear in mind that if any action be taken to tamper with the royalties on German patents worked in this country reprisals may be made by Germany on the royalties the German armament firms are paying to British armament firms; and in considering the question of special taxation of war profits on armaments, will he bear in mind the international character of the British armament firms; that shareholders in these companies live in enemy and neutral nations; and that close business relations do exist, or did exist at the outbreak of war, between the British, French, Italian, Russian, Austrian, German, and Japanese armament firms?


I understand that my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade finds, after very careful inquiry, that the information asked for in the first part of the question is not available. As regards the royalties referred to in the second part of the question, I assume that the German Government would not allow any such payments to British firms. The question of special taxation in connection with such payments does not therefore arise.