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Wireless Telegraphy (China)

Volume 65: debated on Tuesday 28 July 1914

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been drawn to an announcement from Shanghai that a-complete chain of Telefunken wireless stations is in process of completion in China; whether he is aware that the Chinese Government had intended to authorise Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company to issue £2,000,000 Chinese bonds in payment of Marconi wireless stations in China on the basis of a formal contract; whether he can state which of these two companies is to receive the wireless privileges in China; and what steps he can take to protect the interests of Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company, with which the Government is in contractual relationship?

I have seen the announcement referred to by the hon. Member, and am aware that a preliminary understanding of the nature described was entered into between the Marconi Company and the Chinese Minister of Finance. The Company have been informed that His Majesty's Government are prepared to afford them such support as they properly can, and will no doubt apply for support whenever they consider it necessary. I have, however, no information as to which of the two companies is to receive the wireless privileges of China.

Is full value in the stations which are being erected being given for this loan of £2,000,000?

That is a matter—if I understand my hon. Friend's question rightly—between the Chinese Government and the people with whom they are making the contract. I understand the particular question to be whether if there is competition between a British company and a foreign company the British company will receive diplomatic support such as is usually given, and that question I have answered.