HC Deb 26 July 1915 vol 73 cc1980-1W

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he will state the names of the two armament firms who entered into an agreement with Messrs. Krupp's to continue charging His Majesty's Government a royalty or commission on fuses though the patent under which the fuses are made expired in July, 1914; whether, seeing that this arrangement affects the prices charged to His Majesty's Government, he will say what is the lump sum paid by way of royalty or commission to 30th June, 1915; whether the Law Officers have been consulted as to the legal position of armament firms in this country charging His Majesty's Government royalty or commission on an expired patent; and, if so, will he say what advice the Law Officers have given on the question?


It is understood that Messrs. Vickers and the Coventry Ordnance Works entered into an agreement to continue to make certain payments to Messrs. Krupp's in connection with fuses after the expiry of the patent in question. This is a private arrangement, in which the War Office has no power to intervene. I am unable to say to what extent it has affected the prices charged to His Majesty's Government for fuses or what is the total amount to 30th June, 1915. A case is being prepared for submission to the Law Officers.