"of Germany's present supremacy in the pro-
" duction of dyeing materials. The patents lapsed
"more than 24 years ago, and still the Germans
"retain a practical monopoly. This is not wholly
"due to their superior technical education, but in
" the greatest measure is a direct sequel to our
"patent laws. Our rivals had a start of fourteen
"years in a special industry, not only as regards
"manufacturing operations, but also in arrange-
"ments for the distribution of their goods in
"the various markets of the world."
" Natural indigo used to be one of the most
"important industrial products of India. More
"than 1,200,000 natives were employed in its
"preparation. The recent production of synthetic
"indigo in Germany threatens this industry with
"utter ruin. Already more than two-thirds of
"the world's consumption are supplied with the
"artificial product by two German colour works.
"We have granted to a foreign patentee a British
" monoply, who in return ruins an important
"industry with a turnover of .3,000,000 per
"annum. Thus do we foster foreign labour, and
" assist the development of foreign industries.
" The patent not being compulsorily worked here,
"there exists at its expiration neither the skilled
"labour nor the special plant and machinery
"adapted for the purpose, nor any organised
"agency for the distribution of the manufactured
Whether the coal-tar colour industry can ever
be retrieved (it was once exclusively British) is a
74 To MAINTAIN THE SUPREMACY.
matter of doubt. The German combination, with
its control of the market, and with its capital of
twenty millions sterling, is a formidable opponent
to be challenged by private enterprise. It is
useless to bewail this cut -throat international
competition. Great nations must live by great
industries, and individual manufacturing concerns
like THE UNITED ALKALI COMPANY must be in
a position to compete effectively in the world's
markets or they must succumb.
Without entering upon the vexed question
of retaliatory measures, much can still be done
to foster scientific industry. Inequitable patent
laws which have made unnecessary gifts to the
foreigner of extraordinarily valuable monopolies
should be revised. The manufactures in which
pure non - methylated alcohol is requisite are
practically strangled at their birth, and should be
freed from fatal restrictions. Certain dyes, drugs,
photographic chemicals, explosives, lacquers, and
other substances such as xylonite (celluloid), which
require absolute alcohol for their production,
cannot be prepared profitably in this country.
(The regulations which came in force on ist
October last, only in part meet the needs of the
fine chemical industry, although it is stated in The
Times of 26th September, 1906, that the present
concession will enable British manufacturers to
make over a hundred chemical products hitherto
unable to be produced economically). A dis-
tinguished German chemist has declared that
"the man who starts to manufacture here, or
To MAINTAIN THE SUPREMACY. 75
anywhere, without a free use of alcohol in the
preparation of dyestuffs, is working with one arm
tied." Lastly, the rewards for services to the
national industries in the domain of scientific
achievement, should be made equal to those in
other branches of the country's service.
THE UNITED ALKALI COMPANY embodies in
its component firms everything that is historic in
the rise and development of the chemical industry
in Great Britain. The preceding chapters have
referred by name to only a few of that long
succession of illustrious inventors and pioneers
who have contributed to the building up of this
great national asset. The half has not been told.
Nevertheless, if these pages do nothing more than
portray the nature of the silent, bloodless, yet
remorseless strife now proceeding, and if the story
here told leads only to a clearer conception of
the burdens under which this industry labours,
and the necessity for removing all unnecessary
handicaps, the object of these chapters will have
THE UNITED ALKALI COMPANY
Were awarded the " GOLD MEDAL," CHICAGO, 1893;
"GRAND PRIX," PARIS, 1900;
'GRAND PRIX" and
ST. LOUIS, 1904;
"TWO GOLD MEDALS,",
"GOLD MEDAL," CAPE TOWN, 1904-5;
"GRAND PRIX," LIEGE, 1905;
"GRAND PRIX," MILAN, 1906.
THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF THE CHIEF
OF THEIR MANUFACTURES:
Acetate of Soda.
Acetic Acid Commercial.
Ammonia Alkali (all strengths).
Bi-Carbonate of Soda
Mineral Water Quality.
Bi-Sulphite of Soda.
Bi-Sulphide of Carbon.
Carbonate of Potash.
Soda, 60% to 78%
,, ,, Liquid.
,, ,, Powder, 98%
Chlorate of Potash.
Chloride of Ammonium (Refined).
CHLOROS (Liquid Disinfectant).
Copper B.S. and G.M.B.'s, &c.
Hydrochloric Acid Common.
(Commercially free from
Hypochlorite of Soda.
Hyposulphite of Soda.
Manganate of Soda,
LIST OF MANUFACTURES Continued.
Muriate of Ammonia.
Nitrate of Ammonia.
Pest Killer, Strawsonite
"Charlock" Brand Sulphate
Silicate of Soda.
"Red Maid" Laundry.
Ammonia (all strengths).
Le Blanc ,,
Sulphuric Acid Brown.
,, Best Brown.
Sulphate of Ammonia.
,, Soda or Saltcake.
Sulphide of Sodium.
Sulphydrate of Calcium.
Pure Benzene, Toluene,
Benzole, 50% and 90%
Brick Oil, Creosote Oil
Crude Carbolic Acid.
Pitch, Prepared Tar and
Mono Chlor Benzene and
Mono Chlor Toluene.
Di Nitro Chlor Benzene.
Head Offices: 30, JAMES STREET,
6585 AND 5001 LIVERPOOL.
All Communications must be addressed to the Company.
GILBERT G. WALJISLEY, PUIXTEH, 50, LOUD STBEET.