§ 73. Sir A. MARKHAM
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether, seeing Krupps' patent for fuses expired last July, he will say who are the two firms in this country who entered into private arrangements with Krupps to continue the payments; whether His Majesty's Government have paid these two firms and other firms a price for fuses which includes a royalty of 9d. per fuse and in some cases 1s. per fuse; whether this represents a charge of £5,000 per day; and will he say why should His Majesty's Government pay royalty on a patent which has expired?
Royalty, as such, is not being paid by His Majesty's Government. The firms in question, before the War, made commercial agreements with the patentees by which, in return for the disclosure of certain trade secrets relating to these fuses, the payments were to be continued after expiry of the patent. These arrangements, no doubt, affect the prices charged, but, as I have already stated, the legal position under present conditions is now the subject of inquiry.
§ Sir A. MARKHAM
Is the Under-Secretary aware that the price settled by His Majesty's Government goes actually to the manufacturers, and that the money is not paid to Messrs. Krupps; and, if this money is not paid to Messrs. Krupps, is he aware that it is sent to a special fund to be handed over to them after the War?
I think the whole question as to what will happen to commercial profits due to Germany cannot be held to be settled, and this matter no doubt will be treated on its merits.