§ Mr. KILBRIDE
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any of the canvas required for the making of mail bags has been ordered from British manufacturers at a higher price than that quoted by British merchants for perfectly satisfactory Foreign-made cloth and such as has been used by the Department for very many years past; can he state the price now paid for British manufactured stuff and the price quoted for foreign, such as formerly used; and can he say whether similar preference will be given by the Government in the case of Irish manufacturers or foodstuffs.
§ The SECRETARY Of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Churchill)
In four out of sixty-eight items, representing 704,500 yards, the prices for British woven canvas were higher than those quoted for canvas of foreign manufacture. In the remaining sixty-four items, representing 350,900 yards, the tenders for British woven canvas were lower than those for foreign. In view, however, of the very small margins between the British and foreign prices, and the extra difficulty of inspection of foreign goods, I decided that the whole of the contract for this year should be placed with British manufacturers. It is not customary to publish the accepted prices, but the total additional cost, as compared with the lowest tenders for foreign canvas, amounted to £985 7s. 6d. on a contract of about £50,000. I shall be prepared to pursue a similar policy under similar conditions in respect of Irish produce.
§ Mr. KILBRIDE
Will the right hon. Gentleman use his influence with the Secretary of State for War to have Irish foodstuffs supplied to Irish soldiers in preference to foreign?