HC Deb 19 February 1924 vol 169 cc1500-1

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement regarding the negotiations which have taken place between the British Dyestuffs Corporation and the Interessen Gemeinschaft?


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether an argeement has been made between the British Dyestuffs Corporation and the Interessen Gemeinschaft; and, if so, would he give the terms?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Webb)

I would refer the hon. Members to the answer which I gave on the 15th February to the hon. Member for Batley, a copy of which I am sending them.


Has any guidance been given to the Government representatives on the Board in regard to this matter; further, having regard to its importance will there be opportunity for discussion in this House before any vital question of policy is decided upon?


Is it not a fact that the Interessen Gemeinschaft made proposals to the British dye industry and that the proposals came from the German side, owing to the strength of the latter industry which had grown up under Protection?


I am afraid that some of these questions relate to a period of which I have no official knowledge, and I am therefore unable to state what encouragement may have been given to any proposals of the kind. I will certainly take the earliest opportunity of making a statement to the House as soon as the Board of Trade has anything officially before it.


asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the British Dyestuffs Corporation has dismissed a large number of chemists and laboratory assistants, to the serious injury of chemical research in this country; that the corporation has hitherto refused to appoint to the directorate persons with technical and scientific knowledge of dyestuffs manufacture; and will he take steps to provide that the Government nominees to the directorate shall be persons possessing these qualifications?


I am informed that the appointments of a limited number of research chemists have been terminated within the past three months in connection with a reorganisation of the research work of the corporation. As regards the second part of the question, I understand that an invitation to join the Board of the corporation is now under consideration by a distinguished scientist. The suggestion made by the hon. Member in the last part of the question will be borne in mind.