Oral Answers to Questions — Dead Sea Salts (Concession).

– in the House of Commons on 24th July 1929.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury Lieut-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury , Chelmsford

34.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that in the present state of agriculture the production in the third year of 1,000 tons of potash by Mr. Novamesky's company is inadequate to the urgent needs of British farmers; whether he is aware that the British plans that were laid before the late Secretary of State for the Colonies undertook to produce 100,000 tons of potash in the first year and 1,000,000 tons within five years; and on what grounds were these plans rejected?

Photo of Mr William Lunn Mr William Lunn , Rothwell

Among the several tenders submitted to the late Government at different stages there was one that contemplated an annual output considerably greater than the minimum production laid down in the concession as actually granted. The tenderers were, however, unable at the time to furnish the evidence required as to their financial resources.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury Lieut-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury , Chelmsford

Will the hon. Member give the House the assurance that nothing will be done during the Recess to ratify this agreement, before we have a chance of debating it?

Photo of Mr William Lunn Mr William Lunn , Rothwell

I cannot give any assurance upon such a matter.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury Lieut-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury , Chelmsford

Are we then bound under this to a world monopoly of this syndicate for the next 75 years?

Photo of Mr William Lunn Mr William Lunn , Rothwell

The hon. and gallant Gentleman should blame his own Government.

Photo of Sir Louis Smith Sir Louis Smith , Sheffield, Hallam

Will the hon. Gentleman take into consideration that the only ingredient in artificial fertilisers likely to cause a rise in price is potash?

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that we discussed this question in the closing days of the last Parliament?