HC Deb 03 July 1919 vol 117 cc1194-5W
Lieut.-Colonel THORNE

asked (1) the Secretary of State for War the names of the firms referred to on page 5 of the Fifth Report of the Select Committee on National Expenditure who were invited to tender in July, 1915, for supplies of cellulose acetate and what was the reason for refusing to send a tender form to the Cellon Company, of London, and who was the person responsible, and his name, who thus refused permission to an English company and invited tenders from a firm of neutrals adjacent to enemy territory, the Cellonit Gesellschaft Dreyfus, of Basle, who were advertising their wares in the enemy Press; and was the Department aware of this firm's advertisements in the "Chemiker Zeitung" when they invited them to tender; and (2) the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions the reason why in March, 1918, his Department made an Order forbidding the importation of cellulose acetate as indicated in the Fifth Report of the Select Committee on National Expenditure, in view of the fact that all that which was being produced in this country was pronounced to be defective; will he state the names of the contractors who carried out the erection and extension of the British Cellulose Company's work at Spondon, Derby; and whether this was a contract between the Ministry of Munitions and the builders or the British Cellulose Company and the builders?


I will reply to these questions at the same time. A Committee appointed by the Government is examining this question, and, as was stated by the Leader of the House on 1st July, it is hoped that their Report will be ready by the end of the month. In these circumstances, I do not think it would be desirable to make any statement at present.