§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (for Mr. DAWSON)
asked the Secretary of State for War, If his attention has been called to the fact that the cost of making clothing at the Government Factory, Pimlico, is from twenty to fifty per cent. in excess of that paid to contractors, and that the Director of Clothing, in his evidence before the Parliamentary Committee, admitted that there was a loss of £8,000 on the work done the previous year at the Government Factory; also, that the sum of £20,000, voted last year for making up clothing by contract, was 134 not so expended, while the amount voted for the "Government Factory" was exceeded; that, in addition to the higher price paid at the Government Factory for making up, a larger quantity of material was used than that issued to contractors?
§ MR. BRAND
The cost of making clothing at the Government Factory is not from 20 to 50 per cent in excess of that paid to contractors; indeed, there is every reason to believe that the work is done as cheaply at the Factory as by the trade. The loss of £8,000 mentioned in the evidence of the Director of Clothing had reference to the work in the Factory prior to the re-organization of 1878, and since that period the Factory has been able to compete successfully with the trade. Taking the years 1882–3, 1883–4, the amount voted for making up clothing by contract was largely exceeded, although somewhat less was expended in. the single year 1883–4. In one instance a less quantity of material was used by a contractor, owing principally to garments having been made less than the size roll furnished.