HC Deb 13 December 1900 vol 88 cc687-8
MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he will state the names of the British and American firms who tendered for the erection of bridges for the Uganda; Railway; the amounts of the various tenders; and if the British firms, whose quotations were higher than the American, were invited to or afforded an opportunity of revising their tenders.


I shall be glad to give the information to the hon. Gentleman privately, or to grant it as an unopposed Return if he will move for it, but it would hardly be comprehensible in an answer to a question. It has not been considered fair to the party making the lowest tender to invite other tenderers to revise their offers.


May I ask the noble Lord whether there is any rule in his Department which precludes the possibility of inviting contractors to revise their tenders?


The hon. Gentleman will perhaps give notice.


I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether an American company has contracted with the Foreign Office to erect thirty-four bridges on the Uganda Railway, requiring something like 8,000 tons of structural steel, and if so, whether he will state the amount of the contract, and whether any tenders for those bridges were invited from well-known British firms.


Yes. The American Bridge Company have contracted for the erection in situ of thirty bridges on the Uganda Railway containing approximately 7,000 tons of structural steel. The amount of the contract is for £135,000. As the hon. Member will have learnt from an answer given on the subject on the 11th inst. to the hon. Member for West Wolverhampton, tenders were invited for the contract in the United Kingdom. They were invited by means of advertisement.

* SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT (Sheffield, Ecclesall)

Were the British tenderers given an opportunity of revising their tenders so as to tender at the lowest price?

[No answer was given.]