§ MR. HOOPER (Cork, S.E.)
asked the Secretary of State for War, What steps are taken to notify to manufacturers in Ireland periodically the intention of Government to receive tenders for the supply of Army clothing?
§ THE SURVEYOR GENERAL OF ORDNANCE (Mr. NORTHCOTE) (Exeter)
(who replied) said: In answer to the hon. Member I have to state that there are only two firms in Ireland who are known to be capable of undertaking contracts for the making up of Army clothing—one in Dublin and one in Limerick, and these firms are applied to whenever supplies are required. If any other competent firms wish to tender they have only to apply to have their names placed upon the list, when particulars will be sent to them from time to time.
§ MR. HOOPER
inquired whether it would not be to the advantage of the Public Service that the information should be furnished to all well known firms of manufacturers in Ireland; and 535 also whether the hon. Gentleman was aware that one of the most eminent firms in this branch of business was now excluded—namely, Messrs. Mahony and Co., of Blarney?
§ DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)
asked if he understood the hon. Gentleman to say that there were only two firms in Ireland capable of fulfilling contracts of this kind?
§ MR. NORTHCOTE
said, he stated that if any firms wished to tender for such contracts, and if they would signify their wish to the War Office their cases would be considered, and forms of tender would be sent to them from time to time. He was not aware of the circumstances with regard to the firm which the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hooper) mentioned, but if the hon. Member would communicate any facts he would see that inquiry was made.
§ MR. MAHONY (Meath, N.)
asked if the hon. Gentleman would state what steps were to be taken by any firms who might consider themselves competent to tender for the supply of Army clothing, and to have their names placed on the list?
said, that in regard to all tenders the course adopted was to advertise in the local papers. There were also firms which were in the regular list of the War Office to which special notices were sent. If the local firms who saw the advertisements which appeared from time to time in the local papers would communicate with the Secretary of State for War, their communications would be attended to in the proper course.
§ MR. MAHONY
asked if they were to understand that in future all supplies for Army clothing would be advertised in the Irish local papers?
§ MR. NORTHCOTE
said, he had no reason to suppose that any course different from that which had hitherto been found convenient was likely to be pursued, which consisted in notifying from time to time as supplies were wanted in the principal local papers and to the firms which were accustomed to supply the Department.