HC Deb 02 July 1936 vol 314 cc607-8
50 Mr. McENTEE

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he can give an assurance that before giving any financial assistance to the Cunard White Star Shipping Company for building a sister ship to the "Queen Mary" he will see that all reputable British firms have an opportunity of quoting for the supply of plywood or other veneered wood panelling, and that preference is given to Empire-grown timber?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

I have been assured by the company that, in the carrying out of any contract that may be placed for the building of a sister ship, it will be their endeavour, as in the case of the "Queen Mary," to secure that British materials are used to the maximum extent possible.


In view of the fact that practically all the plywood and other panelling work on the "Queen Mary" went to a German firm, and that the best firms in this country were not permitted to quote, will the right hon. Gentleman see that they get that opportunity on the next occasion?


I cannot agree that the best firms were not permitted to quote, but I believe it is a fact that the prices of British firms were raised in comparison with what they had quoted previously, and that in the end their prices were something like 80 per cent. higher than those of their competitors.