HC Deb 20 July 1900 vol 86 c650
MR. D. A. THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)

I beg to ask the Financial Secretary to the Admiralty, if he will state why coal was taken under emergency contracts for the Naval manœuvres in 1888, and why none has been taken since; whether the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, as sole judges of the circumstances constituting anticipated or actual war under which contractors shall be called upon to supply on emergency contracts, have decided that the military operations in South Africa and in China are not circumstances such as would constitute actual or anticipated war; and if it be the intention of the Admiralty not to carry out their emergency contracts when the state of the coal market enables them to do better without them, will he in future see that this is notified to the contractors before the contracts are entered into.


Coals for the manæuvres were included in the emergency contracts until 1899. Since then they have been brought under separate contracts, that being, in the opinion of the Admiralty, the preferable course. It has not been considered necessary to come to any such decision as that indicated in the hon. Member's question, coal for China and South Africa being provided for in the ordinary way. With regard to the last paragraph, the question of what notification shall be given to contractors is being considered.