§ MR. WHITLEY
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War by whose authority the amount of 30s. a ton was paid to a contractor as compensation for non-delivery of 3,800 tons of hay and 6s. 10½d. a quarter for non-delivery of oats, as reported by the Public Accounts Committee; and has any action been taken in the matter.
§ MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER
It was not possible at the time to place full details before the Committee. The payments in question were made by the 181 authority of the Secretary of State for War. It is not in the power of the War Office to fix the prices which contractors will accept under such circumstances; but the arrangements made were far more favourable than adhesion to the contract, and I think they were reasonable, as the contractors had, in addition to loss on sales, to be reimbursed for expenses which they had incurred for chartering ships sent.