§ 23. Sir RICHARD COOPER
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies if an order for locomotives for the Federated Malay States has been placed in the United States; what is the total value of the order; what was the lowest British tender; and why this order was not secured to Great Britain?
§ Lieutenant-Colonel AMERY
An order for twelve locomotives for the Federated Malay States was placed in the United States of America in January last; the contract sum was $28,450 each, or £71,723 approximately in all. No British firm quoted a firm price. The lowest offer mentioned, £8,600 each, or £103,200 in all as a probable sum, but was on a time and cost basis, and therefore liable to variation. This order was not secured to Great Britain, because early delivery of the engines was of urgent necessity, and British firms could not begin delivery till November next, and could not definitely promise that; whereas, the American firm promised delivery in six months.
§ Sir R. COOPER
Is it not a fact that British contractors who sent in tenders for these locomotives were at a disadvan- 390 tage as against American firms, because of the restrictions which are imposed on producers in this country at present?