§ MR. HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty why the Contract Department, in the years 1886–7 and 1887–8, placed orders for preserved butter and salt pork, amounting to £24,910, outside the United Kingdom; and if, having regard to the importance of encouraging Home industries and to 1382 the agricultural depression in Great Britain and Ireland, directions can be given that in future no article required for the Public Service produced at Home is to be ordered from abroad?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. FORWOOD,) Lancashire, Ormskirk
Tenders for pork were invited by public advertisement in 1886 and 1887, and those for butter from a selected list of firms connected with the Irish as well as the foreign butter trade. In 1886 the tenders from Cork packers of pork for delivery at Haulbowline were accepted to a value of about £5,000 at a slightly higher price than that paid for the pork offered for delivery at Deptford by Danish packers. The Irish tenders for delivery at Deptford were 8 per cent higher. In 1887 orders for £7,600 in value were given to Irish firms for delivery at Haulbowline at higher prices than for Danish-packed, delivered at Deptford. The value of butter purchased was only £1,500 in the two years. It is used chiefly by officers in troopships, and samples of Irish and Danish manufacture were submitted to a Committee of Officers, who chose the Danish as preferable for the Service. It is the practice of the Department to give a preference in all cases to Home produce, and, as will be seen from the Parliamentary Returns, the proportion of purchases of foreign-made stores compared to those of British origin are exceedingly small, being only £48,000 out of a total of some millions.