§ MR. STRACHEY (Somerset, S.)
I beg to ask the Civil Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to the statement made by the hon. Member for Wednesbury, in a speech delivered at a Primrose League meeting held at Wednesbury on 27th of April, that he (the hon. Member for Wednesbury) had had the privilege of doing something directly for the borough by influencing for a large firm an order from the Admiralty which would extend over five years; and whether he can give particulars of the contract referred to, and the grounds on which it was allotted in the manner described?
§ MR. WILSON LLOYD (Wednesbury)
Before the question is put—I do not know what the motive is, but I presume it is personal to me, and suggests that I did something that was wrong—I should like to explain that, I certainly used all the influence possible to induce an Admiralty order being placed at Wednesbury; but I did not suppose that the influence of so humble an individual as myself would weigh with the Admiralty, although, as the order did go to Wednesbury, my constituents naturally think otherwise. But I do desire to repudiate altogether the suggestion that I used any improper influence; and, indeed, I do not for one moment think that the Admiralty would have been susceptible to any improper influence. I only did what I was strictly justified in doing.
§ THE CIVIL LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. E. ROBERTSON,) Dundee
The hon. Member for Wednesbury addressed a letter to the Director of Admiralty Contracts, in November last, requesting that favourable consideration might be given to a firm at Wednesbury who had tendered to supply chain cables for the Navy. Following the usual practice, the lowest tenders were accepted; and as that sent on by the firm alluded to was a tie with that of another firm, and these two were lower than the tenders of the other competing firms, the orders were divided between the two. The letter from the hon. 628 Member had not the slightest effect in determining the acceptance of the tender.