§ 1. Mr. GRAHAM WHITE
asked the President of the Board of Trade the relative proportion of the total manufacture of dyestuffs in Great Britain produced by the British Dyestuffs Corporation and other competing manufacturers, respectively, in this country for the years 1921 and 1923?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Webb)
I regret that I am not in a position to give the information desired. The Board of Trade have no power to require manufacturers to furnish details of their production, and though returns are made voluntarily by a number of concerns, including the British Dyestuffs Corporation, no such information is supplied by some important undertakings. In any event, a comparison of mere totals 216 would be misleading in the absence of any uniform practice on the part of makers as to standards of strength.
§ Mr. G. WHITE
How can the Board of Trade intelligently consider the proposed agreement between the British Dyestuffs Corporation and the Interessen Gemeinschaft unless they have this information?
§ 2. Mr. BLACK
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that no synthetic indigo dye is allowed to be imported into the United Kingdom through other than Government channels, he will state the quantity of synthetic indigo imported into the United Kingdom during the year 1923; what was the total value at which such importations were credited to the German indemnity account; what was the total value at which such importations were debited to the Dyestuffs Corporation; to what purpose has the difference in value been applied; and what was the total value received by the British Dyestuffs Corporation for the sale of such importations?
§ Mr. WEBB
It is believed that the total importation of synthetic indigo during 1923 amounted to 413 tons. With regard to the remaining parts of the question, I think the hon. Member has in mind a special transaction. No reparation dyestuffs are normally sold to the British Dyestuffs Corporation, but in 1922, with the approval of the users, a special transaction was entered into to sell to the Corporation a quantity of 333 tons of synthetic indigo dye which was requisitioned from Germany. In the absence of complete returns from the Reparation Commission the Board are unable to furnish the value in sterling This special parcel of indigo was sold to the British Dyestuffs Corporation at cost plus freight and charges plus 5 per cent. on the gross cost. The difference between cost and selling price will be brought to account by the Board in the Reparation Dyestuffs Trading Account. With the approval of indigo users in this country the Corporation agreed to re-sell these dyes in combination with a quantity 217 of their own products at prices not to exceed 1s. 3d. per 1b. in the case of sales to large consumers. That transaction has not been repeated.