HC Deb 24 September 1948 vol 456 cc189-90W
Mr. Stokes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how many mechanical excavators, universal type, will be manufactured by Messrs. Demag and Menck and Hambrock annually under the revised level of industry plan.

Mr. Mayhew

I do not know how many mechanical excavators, universal type, will be manufactured by the firms mentioned, since this is the concern of the firms themselves and of the German authorities, and not of the British authorities. I understand however that Messrs. Demag at. Benrath are now producing at the rate of 45 per annum, and Messrs. Menck & Hambrock at 80 per annum. The present capacity of these firms is stated to be 120–140 and 110 respectively, although whether production could reach these figures would depend on the availability of steel supplies and the existence of demand.

I will take this opportunity of giving my hon. Friend the further information on this subject which I promised him on the 20th September. In addition to Messrs. Demag and Messrs. Menck & Hambrock there are two other firms engaged in the production of mechanical excavators, universal type: Messrs. Hagenkamp at Richrath, present output 12 per annum, capacity 24; and Messrs. Nilsen and Korte, Hamburg, who will this year make 24. My hon. Friend is already aware of the new concern, the Bad Oeynhausen Maschinenbau G.m.b.H. which has been set up in premises adjacent to the Weserhuette plant for the purpose of supplying spare parts for Weserhuette products already in use, and of continuing the production of such complete units as are necessary for peacetime needs, within the limited availabilities of steel and other raw materials. I do not know what the productive capacity of this plant is likely to be.

I cannot guarantee that the foregoing information is complete, since it is possible for other firms to commence excavator production without their coming to the knowledge of the British authorities. From the information available it would appear that the total output this year of universal type excavators will be 161, and the total capacity about 298