§ 89. Mr. NEWBOULD
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that a very comprehensive directory of British engineering firms has been prepared and issued by the Department of Engineering, Ministry of Munitions; whether, in order to develop British industry and to secure the placing of contracts from abroad with British firms, he can arrange that copies of this directory are sent to the British Consuls abroad and to the representatives of overseas trade departments abroad and to any other authority which might enable those desiring engineering work to consult this list; and can he arrange for similar action within the British Empire, and particularly in this country?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
As the answer is a long one, perhaps the hon. Member will allow me to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ The following is the Answer referred to:
§ Copies of the directory are already in possession of the Department of Overseas Trade. In the compilation of the directory the requirements of overseas trade were not directly in view, and the information contained in the directory is therefore not entirely suitable for the use of His Majesty's Consuls, Trade Commissioners and other official overseas correspondents of the Department. The Department of Overseas Trade is, however, compiling and issuing for the use of its official correspondents a directory giving full and detailed particulars of the manufactures of British firms, the markets in which they are interested, the names of their branches or agents overseas, and, generally, any particulars which British firms are willing should be included, and which would be of use to the overseas officers of the Department in assisting the placing of contracts and orders with British firms. All the firms in the directory compiled by the Ministry of Munitions are being invited to furnish the fuller particulars required by the Department of Overseas Trade. Four volumes of the directory which is being prepared by the latter Department have already been issued to His Majesty's Consuls, Trade Commissioners, etc., and five other volumes are with the printers. As the information appearing in the directory which is being prepared by the Department of Overseas Trade has been obtained under the assurance that it would be used for official purposes only, it is intended to issue it only to officers abroad of the Department of Overseas Trade and the other Departments of His Majesty's Government.