HC Deb 11 February 1929 vol 225 cc2-3
2. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India the value of locomotives, boilers, and component parts which the India Store Department have placed with Continental makers since 31st March, 1928, up to date; and whether, in view of the unemployment in the British locomotive industry, he will again represent to the Indian Government, in view of the financial accommodation they are getting on the London market, the urgency of placing their orders in this country?


The orders for the articles in question which have been placed with Continental makers between 31st March, 1928, and 6th February, 1929, amount to £572,000. For the reasons given in debates in this House and in reply to earlier questions on the subject, my Noble Friend is not prepared to act on the suggestion contained in the latter part of the question.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

May we take it that the Department of the Secretary of State for India is doing its best to see that as many orders as possible do come to this country for these important materials?


The matter really does not rest with the India Office. It is difficult, without unduly trespassing on the time of the House, to explain the whole situation, though it has been explained in debate, but by an arrangement come to between the then Secretary of State and the Government of India, which has subsequently been approved in various ways by this House, orders for these goods are placed in the cheapest available market; that is to say, that no preference is given to British manufacturers. Orders are placed by the High Commissioner for India, who ordinarily acts under the orders of the Government of India, and every facility is, of course, placed in the way of British firms to tender.