British Contracts.

Oral Answers to Questions — Near East. – in the House of Commons on 5th July 1922.

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Mr. L'ESTRANGE MALONE:

10.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any diplomatic or other assistance has been rendered to the firm of Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons, Limited, in obtaining contracts for reconstruction work at the port of Piraeus, near Athens; if so, what was the nature of that assistance: and whether any negotiations are being similarly conducted in regard to contracts in those parts of Turkey now occupied by Greece?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

Tenders were invited by the Greek Government in 1918 from three British groups, one of whom was Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons, Limited, for a contract to reconstruct the Piraeus harbour works. Subsequently a fourth British firm was invited to compete. His Majesty's Minister at Athens received instructions to give all British firms of good standing equal support. The assistance given was such as is usual in cases of British firms desiring to obtain contracts from foreign Governments. I have no information in regard to the last part of this question.

Mr. MALONE:

Have any of these contracts been responsible for the British policy in supporting the Greek Imperialist aims?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

No.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , Fylde

Is it not quite right and proper that British Ministers should support their nationals in obtaining concessions?

Mr. HARMSWORTH:

Yes; it is a regular part of the business of the Foreign Office.