HC Deb 10 March 1925 vol 181 cc1091-4
1. Mr. PALIN

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can state the price of synthetic indigo in Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy and India?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister)

As the answer to the question contains a number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The price of synthetic indigo varies considerably with quantity and also according to the source from which it is obtained. I understand, however, that the prices for ordinary quantities in the markets named are as follows:

Great Britain, 1s. 3d. per lb.

France, 12 francs per kilo.

Germany, 2 gold marks per kilo. Italy, 10 lira per kilo.

India, 5s. 6d. per lb.

The above quotations are for 20 per cent. paste, except in the case of India. where synthetic indigo is usually sold in the form of 100 per cent. powder.


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the Dyestuffs Advisory Licensing Committee publish any particulars giving the names of the dyes for the import of which licences have been granted; and, if not, what safeguard exists against unfair discrimination between various applicants for licences?


Particulars of the dyestuffs for which licences are granted are not published by the Advisory Licensing Committee. As regards the second part of the question, the safeguard is the constitution of the Committee, and the fact that each application is considered separately.

Captain BENN

Suppose that one firm objects to other firms getting the dyes which it has been refused, how can its doubts be set at rest?


Such cases do not, in fact, arise, because the Advisory Committee, on which the makers are in a minority, treats all applications alike.

10. Captain BENN

asked the President el the Board of Trade whether it is the practice of the Dyestuffs Advisory Licensing Committee, when asked for permission to import, to require the applicant to disclose the names of his customers and thereafter to furnish these names to the applicants' competitors; and, in general, on what grounds the Committee withhold licences?


I presume the hon. and gallant Member's question relates to applications other than those made by actual users. It is not the general practice of the Committee to require applicants in such cases to disclose the names of their customers, but in certain cases, where licences would not normally be granted, it has been found necessary to require that the application shall be made by the actual user. As regards the second part of the question, licences are refused when the Committee are satisfied that adequate substitutes are available at. reasonable prices from British manufacturers.

Captain BENN

Is it the case that some people, who allege that they cannot carry on their business without foreign imported dyes, are refused licences?


No, I think not. The practice of the Committee is to find out whether a suitable British substitute is available. If there is not, a licence is granted.

Captain BENN

I beg to give notice that, on the Adjournment to-night, I shall call attention to the hardships under this system.

11. Mr. FENBY

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether it is intended to continue the appointment of the British Dyestuffs Corporation, Limited, as sole agents in this country for the distribution of dyestuffs taken from Germany on reparation account?


The operation of the reparation provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, so far as they related to dyestuffs, ceased on the 15th January last. The agency service of the British Dyestuffs Corporation will be continued until the existing stock of reparation dyestuffs has been liquidated.

18. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the President of the Board of Trade if any decision has been arrived at as to whether, under the London Agreement of 30th August, 1924, the Government will continue to indent on Germany for bulk quantities, or at all, of dyestuffs on reparation account as was the case up to the 10th January, 1925, under the Peace Treaty?


The London Agreement provides that con tracts for deliveries in kind (including dyestuffs) which are to be treated as being on reparation account, shall be made under ordinary commercial conditions, that is, by contracts between buyers in the Allied countries and the German producers. It is not the intention of the Government to make any call on Germany for dyestuffs on Government account.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Will this whole business be modified when we get the proposed pact with Germany and France, and they are secured '?


That is too hypothetical a question.