asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether it is true that in April last an application was received at the India Office from Messrs. Dudley, manufacturers, of Norbriggs Works, Chesterfield, for a form of tender for certain articles required for India, to which for several days no answer was returned; and, whether in the meantime the order for the goods was given to contractors in- 424 stead of direct to makers; and whether, if so, this proceeding is in accordance with the usual rules governing such
§ MR. E. STANHOPE
Sir, it is true that an application was received from Messrs. Dudley, in April last, for a form of tender. But the matter was very urgent, the articles being required for the Afghan War. In these circumstances, the usual rule of inviting tenders was departed from, and arrangements were made in a few hours with certain firms who had recently supplied similar articles to the Department, and who could be trusted to supply them at once. The application from Messrs. Dudley was not received until the arrangements were completed; but I have to express my regret at no answer having been at once sent to them.