HC Deb 02 April 1900 vol 81 c938

I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether the members of the staff of the Director of Army Contracts have received any training of a business, technical, or commercial character; whether complaints have been received from contractors as to the visits of detective officers from the War Office to the premises of firms supplying stores to the Army; and what are the rules of the Department regulating the visits of these gentlemen to clothing, shoe, and saddlery factories.


The staff of the Director of Contracts have received adequate training in the business with which they have to deal, which is that of knowing when the enormous variety and quantity of stores required for the Army can be satisfactorily, quickly, and economically obtained. The inspection of the stores is conducted by skilled officers and men on behalf of the Department receiving the stores, and not by the contract branch. No complaints have been received in regard to the visits of officers from the contract branch referred to in paragraph 2. These visits are made under the orders of the Director of Contracts, to ascertain by personal inspection, either the progress that is being made in the execution of a current contract, or the capacity of a firm to undertake orders. Inquiries into labour questions also entail personal visits.