§ 76. Major COLFOX
asked the First Commissioner of Works whether he is aware that in the legation now being built under the direction of his Department at Lima foreign steel is being used; what is the country of origin of this steel; and, seeing that the manufacture of this steel in the United Kingdom would give employment to many British work- 234 men, will he give instructions for the suspension of the work until British steel can be made available?
§ Mr. LANSBURY
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. I understand that approximately 100 tons of steel reinforcing bars have been imported from Luxemburg. The original tenders for the legation building at Lima were much in excess of the amount authorised, and the plans and specification had to be revised, with the object of reducing costs. As it was understood that stocks of steel reinforcing bars were available locally, contractors were left to make their own arrangements on grounds of urgency and expense. Having regard to the present stage of building operations, I regret that the suggestion contained in the last part of the hon. and gallant Member's question is impracticable.
§ Major COLFOX
Would it not have been just as easy to have got this material from England as from Luxemburg; and would it not also have given some employment to British workmen?
§ Mr. LANSBURY
If the hon. and gallant Member will read my answer, he will discover that the steel was on the spot, ready and available.