HC Deb 18 July 1939 vol 350 cc189-91
67 and 68. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) from which country the specialists and chemists came from who have been engaged at the Trafford chemical factory during the last 12 months; where it is intended that the chemists shall be engaged from in the future; where has the bulk of the machinery been obtained from; and is he satisfied with the efficacy of the arrangements;

(2) what the arrangements are between the I. G Farbenindustrie A. G., and the imperial Chemical Industries in the Trafford Chemical Company; will the arrangements; and will firms be affected who manufactured dyestuffs and those products for which the license has been stopped under the Dye-Stuffs Act?

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Oliver Stanley)

As regards the operation of the Trafford Chemical Company, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to him on 13th June. I have received no representations in the matter from other dyestuffs manufacturers in the United Kingdom, and I see no reason why the establishment of a company devoted primarily to the manufacture of speciality dyestuffs hitherto imported should prejudice the interests of other makers. The company has not yet started manufacture, but I understand that it is the intention to engage a small number of German technical experts and that some of the machinery will be imported from Germany.

Mr. Smith

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the deep-rooted feeling that exists in this area because these men have been brought from Germany; does he not think our young men who have been trained in universities and secondary schools are sufficiently developed to undertake work of this character; has he seen the memorandum sent to Members of this House this week by the Economic League; and, in view of the large amount of espionage work that is being carried out by certain agents of a certain Power, does he not think that this matter requires dealing with?

Mr. Stanley

No, Sir. I am not aware of the deep feeling in the neighbourhood, and certainly I regard the establishment in this country of the manufacture of speciality dyes, of which up to now we are dependent for supplies from abroad, as very much in the national interest.

Mr. Thorne

Will the right hon. Gentleman see that when this material is manufactured it does not go out of the country?

Mr. Stanley

The purpose of manufacturing it here is to use it here.

Mr. E. Smith

German spies.