§ MR. A. O'CONNOR (Donegal, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that certain firms now in receipt of contracts for the supply of surgical instruments do not manufacture the goods they supply; and why certain firms receive contracts from year to year whose prices are considerably higher than those at which other and larger houses supply the same articles?
§ MR. E. STANHOPE
It is reported to me that the surgical instruments supplied to the War Department are manufactured by the firms contracting to supply them, and that the prices are not higher than those charged by other houses for goods of the same standard of quality. Assurance that instruments are absolutely trustworthy is so essen- 1721 tial in surgery that it has not hitherto been considered advisable to disturb by open competition arrangements under which perfectly satisfactory instruments have for many years been procured, but I will look further into the matter.