§ Mr. NANNETTI
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether any contracts for food, clothing, boots, etc., for the use of sailors in the Royal Navy have been placed in Ireland; if so, will he give the names of such contractors; and, if not, will he see that that country gets a share of the contracts; and will he say what is Ireland's contribution to the upkeep of the Navy?
§ The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. McKenna)
The answer to the first part of the question is generally in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, arrangements have recently been made for the periodical publication in the Board of Trade "Labour Gazette" of the names of successful tenderers. As to the third part of the question, all competent firms who desire to tender for Admiralty contracts are treated on exactly the same footing, irrespective of the particular part of the United Kingdom where they may happen to be located. The Irish contribution to naval expenditure for 1908–9 calculated on the basis of 0.66 per cent, of the whole cost, would amount to £202,440.
§ Mr. NANNETTI
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he can see his way to have a depot established in Ireland where specimens of the various articles required might be sent so as to give manufacturers in that country an opportunity of competing without having to incur the extra expense of sending articles over here?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I did not hear the whole of the hon. Member's question. If he will put it on the Paper I will be happy to give him an answer.