HC Deb 09 November 1916 vol 87 cc446-7W

asked the Secretary of State for India if the German element which lately controlled the deposits of monazite-necessary for the gas-mantle industry in Travancore, South India, has now been completely eliminated; what has been done with the preference shares and 11,000 ordinary shares of the Travancore Minerals-Company formerly belonging to the Auer Company of Berlin; and if the Germans charged our mantle manufacturers £33 a ton for the sand which cost about £4 a ton?


The German element in the Travancore Minerals Company, Limited, has been eliminated. The preference and ordinary shares formerly held on behalf of the Auer Company, of Berlin, have been purchased by the Travancore Minerals Company itself from the Public Trustee. I am not aware of the prices quoted to British mantle manufacturers of monazite sand; but I understand that before the War the consumption of the raw material was restricted almost entirely to Germany. The company have now given a formal undertaking that they will be ready at all times to sell the sand direct and at a fair price to any bonò fide British firm that may desire to purchase it in reasonable quantities for the purposes of manufacture.