47. Mr. WEST (for Mr. LEONARD)
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he is aware that in 1931 a British firm interested in the manufacture of munitions endeavoured to enlist the help of the commanding officer, Royal Artillery, Northern Command, York, in recommending an officer suitable to foster the sale of arms to the Chinese Government, and willing to accept employment in that country; that the commanding officer referred to communicated with the War Office, and from that office received the name of an officer deemed suitable; and whether this is an accepted part of the duties of that Department and if the practice continues?
§ Mr. DUFF COOPER
I have no knowledge of the matter referred to in the first part of the question. With regard to the last part, if the War Office is asked to recommend a suitable retired officer for a civilian post, I can see no objection to this being done.
§ Mr. ARTHUR GREENWOOD
This is surely a proper question to put to the bon. Gentleman? If the facts be as suggested in the question clearly the House is entitled to know.
§ Mr. COOPER
I have made inquiries from everybody concerned who might have been asked that question, and they deny any knowledge of it. As I have said already, if they had been cognisant of such events having taken place, I cannot see that any blame could possibly attach to them.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
Has the hon. Gentleman asked the Commanding Officer of the Royal Artillery in the Northern Command?