asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether, when tenders are invited from eminent engineering shipbuilding firms for Steam Tugs for Her Majesty's Navy, it is usual to select a tender from the list at a considerably higher cost to the Government in lieu of the lowest tender; and, whether such a selection was not made on a very recent occasion?
§ MR. HUNT,
in reply, said, that when tenders were asked for by the Admiralty there was always a condition that the Admiralty were not bound to accept the lowest or any tender. This condition was inserted because there was often a great difference in the quality of the work and in the experience of different firms. On a recent occasion, as was indicated in the Question, a tender was accepted which was not the lowest tender. There was a sufficient reason 1178 for the course taken by the Admiralty, the firm whose tender was accepted having recently built a vessel of the same kind, and having given great satisfaction, while the firm whose tender was the lowest had executed work which had not been of the same satisfactory character.