§ 48. Mr. CRAVEN-ELLIS
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what percentage of the expenditure contributed by Empire countries towards the total spent on the building and the furniture of the new League of Nations building and amounting to 8,440,832.62 gold francs out of a total cost of 29,940,194.13 gold francs, went by way of orders to the British Empire?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
The last figure quoted by my hon. Friend is not the total cost of the new League of Nations building but the total sum contributed by States Members of the League in the 13 years since its foundation in respect of expenditure on League buildings and furniture in general. The percentage asked for by my hon. Friend in the early part of his question might be worked out with considerable difficulty by the Secretariat of the League but the result would be one from which false deductions might easily be drawn. By far the largest item of expenditure on the new League building is the actual constructional work in which for geographical reasons, British firms are obviously not interested. For similar reasons no Empire firm outside Europe could compete for any of the contracts in connection with the new building. As far as can be ascertained the total value of contracts in which British firms might be interested is roughly 5½ million Swiss francs. This figure includes contracts in respect of the Library which is being paid for exclusively by funds from the United States and contracts which have not yet been allotted. Of this total, contracts to about the value of 1 million Swiss francs have so far been secured by British firms.