HC Deb 23 February 1954 vol 524 cc194-5
28. Mr. Grimond

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he can give the value of contracts placed with British manufacturers in the last year for the supply of equipment to electrical schemes in the United States of America; and the value of the tenders which were rejected although the lowest submitted.

Mr. Amory

According to my information, which may be incomplete, British firms secured contracts during 1953 worth about 6,900,000 dollars for the supply of equipment to electrical schemes in the United States.

I am aware of two cases where fully compliant British bids, although the lowest, were rejected. One of these was the tender of approximately 4.4 million dollars for four generators for the Chief Joseph Dam, where all bids were rejected in the circumstances described in my right hon. Friend's speech on 20th April, 1953, in the course of the debate on the Budget proposals. In the other case a low British bid of approximately 375,000 dollars to supply a transformer to the city of Los Angeles was rejected on the grounds that evaluation of competing bids showed that no price advantage would be gained by acceptance of the British bid.

Mr. Grimond

While I think the answer shows a highly successful year for these British manufacturers, as the policy of both Governments is "trade not aid," have conversations been started with the United States to try to persuade them to take British goods, which is the only way we can repay our debts?

Mr. Amory

I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman. We lose no opportunity of putting that view in every way we can to our friends in the United States.