§ MR. GOURLEY
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether it is a fact that the contracts for the supply of coal to Her Majesty's ships in the port of Lisbon are now confined to one firm; and, if so, whether he will state to the House the grounds upon which the former practice of offering such contracts to public competition under sealed tender has been abandoned?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
The demands made on the contractor for coals at 159 Lisbon are so uncertain that it is necessary to mate special arrangements at that port. Accordingly, the Admiralty have entered into a contract with a resident firm for the supply of such coal as may from time to time be demanded, the contract being based on the market price of coal, plus a fixed rate per ton for freight, shipping, and management. This agreement is made with the leading firm at Lisbon, who have the greatest facilities for expeditiously coaling Her Majesty's ships, and who coal all the principal mail steamers. The practice of offering contracts of this nature to public competition has been discontinued for some years.