§ Mr. HUNT
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in view of the fact that he has expressed himself as willing to pay rather higher prices for warships built on the Thames than if built in other parts of the United Kingdom, he will in future be willing to pay a rather higher price for granite produced in the United Kingdom for our naval needs than for granite produced in Norway or in other countries abroad?
§ The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Churchill)
I have always stated that, in my earnest desire to place an order with the Thames I was prepared within certain limits to depart from the traditional policy that has governed—and in my opinion governed rightly—the placing of Admiralty contracts. I hope the hon. Member will regard this exception as proving and not breaking the rule.
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I have to consider, as far as possible, the general distribution of Admiralty orders between the different shipyards of the country, in order, among other things, to keep alive as many centres of the building of warships as possible; and within certain limits the House has been prepared to allow a certain latitude in that respect. That is my justification for the course which I have adopted. The question of placing orders for warships in foreign countries, which I gather the right hon. Gentleman refers to, has not yet been considered by the Board of Admiralty.
§ Mr. WILLIAM THORNE
Has it not been the practice of the Admiralty in placing contracts to accept the lowest tender?