HC Deb 21 February 1918 vol 103 cc942-3W

asked the Under-Secretary of State to the Air Ministry whether the Air Ministry have refused to recommend the Fresh Issues Committee at the Treasury to sanction the proposed increase of capital of White-head Aircraft (1917), Limited; and, if so, on what grounds; whether he is aware that this concern has within a few months doubled its output; whether he is aware that the concern could readily obtain the £750,000 additional capital it desires per- mission to issue and has acquired the necessary land, and could again double its output in a few months; and if he will explain why facilities for so doing should be withheld, having regard to the constant wastage and urgent necessity for properly constructed machines?


The Ministry of Munitions will not oppose any reasonable scheme for raising capital by public issue. The Ministry of Munitions can meet its programme of requirements from facilities existing and arranged for without necessity of further extensions to Messrs. Whitehead. The issue of capital is asked to pay off financial liabilities in the way of advances made by the Ministry of Munitions


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that Whitehead Aircraft (1917), limited, which makes machines for the Air Board, has grown rapidly and acquired land and all facilities for immediate extension, and its wages have risen to £11,000 per week and its floor space to 325,000 square feet; whether he is aware that it has asked for permission to issue a further £750,000 capita] and has secured promises of the £750,000 if permission could only be obtained, which would enable it in a few months to again double its output; and whether he will explain why the Fresh Issues Committee at the Treasury continue to refuse sanction to the proposed increase as not being in the public interest?


I am informed that amended proposals have been made by this company, and that they have been agreed to with the exception of one small item.