§ Mr. A. Edwards
asked the Minister of Supply if he will undertake that the spending of dollars on American excavators will not extend beyond the 77.9 million dollars already committed on 422 machines for opencast coal working and the spares for such machines; that these 422 machines, having been purchased expressly for opencast coal working, will be wholly utilised on such work and not directed to other uses in this country; and whether delivery is, and is likely to continue to be, in accordance with the promises received when the orders were placed.
§ Mr. Key
I have been asked to reply. The commitment for American excavators amounted to 17.9 and not 77.9 million dollars, and I do not at present contemplate further purchases. The machines are intended for a number of priority uses, but the greater part of the expenditure is for machines that were intended and will be used for opencast coal production. The deliveries so far have been substantially in accordance with the dates promised and I have no reason to anticipate serious departure from future delivery dates.