HC Deb 21 August 1940 vol 364 cc1329-30W
Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Minister of Supply what proportion of machine tools imported from America is handled by Alfred Herbert and Company; and whether he is taking full advantage of other organisations qualified to help in this work?

Mr. H. Morrison

Imports of machine tools from the United States of America are handled by the respective agents of the American firms and there has been no change in that procedure, so that the aid of all firms who have specialised in the various American machine tools is used. Alfred Herbert, Limited, are, and for many years have been, large importers. I do not consider it advisable to give figures.

Mr. Edwards

asked the Minister of Supply what opportunities are given to merchants who have been importing machine tools from Germany and Switzerland to handle machine tools imported from America; and whether he will use the services of these companies for the more expeditious distribution of machines?

Mr. Morrison

Most of the American machine tools that are imported into this country are covered by existing agreements between the principal in America and the agent in this country. It will be appreciated that we must continue to use and expand these existing channels owing to their familiarity with the products, which are, of course, highly technical. Wherever possible, merchants formerly engaged in the Continental markets have obtained American agencies and are being used in this distribution.