HC Deb 07 August 1888 vol 329 c1828

asked the Secretary of State for War, having regard to the fact that Government are stated to be consumers of 2,000,000 yards of woollen fabrics for the Army and Navy, the raw material of which, after arriving in London Docks, was carried to the North of England and brought back to London, when the labour on the spot could have been utilized for its manufacture, and thousands of unemployed men furnished with work, Whether the Government would grant a contract extending over a period of years to anyone undertaking to manufacture these woollen goods in the East End of London, and create a new industry for the employment of the surplus labour there?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. E. STANHOPE) (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

These contracts are advertised yearly, and if any London manufacturer, with the advantages pointed out in the Question, can tender at a lower price than is paid at other places, I shall be quite ready to consider favourably his application; but I cannot sacrifice the advantage to the country of frequent competition by making a contract extending over a period of years.