HC Deb 19 June 1941 vol 372 cc823-4
67. Mr. Stokes

asked the Minister of Supply, who is responsible for inspecting in America machine tools purchased for despatch to this country; and whether a stipulation is made that they are to be despatched completely tooled up?

Mr. Harold Macmillan

The British Purchasing Commission are responsible for the inspection of all machine tools purchased in America for despatch to this country and maintain an Inspection Department for this purpose. Wherever possible standard equipment has been obtained with the machines, and further separate purchases have been made of additional equipment wherever it seemed advantageous so to do.

Mr. Stokes

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that some of these tools are very old, that they are arriving in this country untooled up, that it will take months to equip them, and that it is useless to send them over unless they are despatched completely tooled up?

Mr. Macmillan

A large number of problems are involved in this. A large number of tools have been purchased, and I should hesitate to do anything but express the deepest appreciation for the support we have had from the American Government in allocating to us a very large number of machine tools.

Mr. Stokes

I am not calling in question the integrity of the American Government, but the competence of our purchasers. Some of these tools are excessively old and are useless without proper equipment.