§ MR. MURPHY
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether the contracts for the clothing of the Royal Irish Constabulary are advertised in the Dublin papers; if not, would he state on what grounds; how the selection of manufacturers is made; to whom tender forms for these 1385 contracts are sent; and, if it has been considered that six days is a sufficient notice of the contracts?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN)
As the contracts for the Constabulary clothing are made by the War Office, I may, perhaps, be allowed to answer this Question. It has not been the practice in recent years to advertise contracts for clothing of the Royal Irish Constabulary in the Dublin papers, but to invite tenders from certain English firms and from all manufacturers of clothing in Ireland who are known to the War Department as likely to undertake such contracts. I am told that advertisement has been tried and found to produce no competition beyond that resulting from the method of tender. On one occasion tender forms were sent to 12 English and three Irish firms, of whom two English and two Irish firms tendered. I shall be happy to give the names to the hon. Member if he desires it. The usual interval between the issue of tender forms and the date fixed for their return is 10 days; but, owing to urgency, it was on this occasion six days, and I understand that no complaints on the subject was made by any of the Irish firms who inspected the patterns with a view to tendering.
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I gather from the information supplied to me that that is so, for I read that the patterns were seen in London.