HC Deb 04 November 1912 vol 43 c838

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is satisfied with the delays in the construction of our ships put out to contract; whether he has taken or is taking any steps to prevent such delays in the future; whether he has obtained reliable assurances or guarantees from contractors; and whether, in view of the fact that such delays are now the rule, he will consider the advisability of appointing a Select Committee to consider the whole question of Admiralty contract work?


I am dissatisfied with the delays in the construction of contract ships, but, as the House is aware, some of the operating causes — the coal strike, for instance—have been beyond the control of contractors and will prove to be, I trust, of an exceptional character. All ordinary and avoidable causes of delay receive constant attention, and I shall not fail wherever just cause is found to exact from contractors the penalty for slackness and procrastination. The hon. Member may rest assured that the whole system is kept continually under review, and I do not think there is necessity to invoke the assistance of a Select Committee, at any rate at the present time.