HC Deb 26 October 1916 vol 86 cc1357-8W

asked the Secretary of State for India whether the Board of Trade has already advanced, approximately,£1,000,000 for the regeneration of the coaltar colour industry; whether the regeneration of the natural indigo colour industry is even more important, seeing that the money value of the industry to the Empire was formerly worth more by 50 per cent. than the whole of the coal-tar colour industry to the country; whether the appointment of a single investigator and a small expert Committee is all that he proposes to do in this matter; will he give the names of the expert Committee he has appointed on the natural indigo investigations in order to establish confidence amongst those interested in the trade's revival; and why has the Dyers' Guild been ignored as advisers, seeing that it was this guild which started the agitation for the revival of the industry and for a full investigation on the economics of the situation?


As regards the first part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. The Committee which the Secretary of State for India has appointed consists of Professor Armstrong, Mr. Burgess, of Burgess, Ledward and Co., Manchester; Mr. L. I. Harrington, representing the Bihar Planters' Association; and Mr. L. J. Kershaw, CLE. It was not considered necessary, as the problem is essentially an Indian one, to add a representative of the Dyers' Guild, but the Committee will at all times be glad to receive any suggestions which the guild may have to offer.