§ 10. Colonel HOWARD-BURY
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any special chemical knowledge was required from the applicants for the Dead Sea salts concessions; and whether Mr. Novomesky and Major Tulloch have any such qualifications?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Amery)
No, Sir. As the House is aware, applications were invited by public advertisement. No reference was made in the advertisement to special chemical knowledge. I have already made statements in the House in regard to Mr. Novomesky's qualifications.
§ 11. Colonel HOWARD-BURY
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in regard to the Dead Sea salts concession, any conditions were laid down as regards the amount of finance to be guaranteed by the applicants who sent in their tenders on 31st December, 1926; whether any time limit was fixed; and whether the conditions laid down as regards finance have been complied with by the applicants who have been selected in principle?
14. Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is now in a position to make any statement regarding the Dead Sea concession?
Sir F. HALL
Is it the intention of the Government to give preference to British capital, if it can be produced, in preference to capital emanating from other sources?
Sir F. HALL
Assuming that both British capital and capital from other sources were safe, will my right hon. Friend undertake that, all things being equal, the preference in these circumstances shall be given to British capital? Surely that is reasonable?
§ Mr. AMERY
I could not give that undertaking. It is, however, a case where tenders were out for a considerable time, and where eventually one applicant was considered as having offered the best tender. Whether that applicant is in a satisfactory position to carry out the terms of the tender is a matter still under discussion and, if he cannot satisfy us on this point, then the matter will be opened again. Then the point of view of my hon. Friend will come into consideration.
Sir F. HALL
Are we to understand then that at the present time, practically speaking, someone has been accepted in principle?
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Is the right hon. Gentleman gratified by this extraordinary interest shown in Palestine by the Conservative party?
§ Mr. THURTLE
Is this concession really at the disposition of the British Government and not of the country in which this lake is?
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
Is it not possible to press for an early decision in the matter The discussion as to whether these gentlemen have sufficient financial qualifications has surely been going on for a year?
§ Colonel HOWARD-BURY
Has my right hon. Friend not had an application from a very powerful British group, with plenty of money behind them to work this concession?