HC Deb 06 May 1913 vol 52 cc1836-7
11 and 12. Mr. COOPER

asked the Secretary for War (1) if Messrs. Wills and Company, Limited, of Gibraltar and Malta, have held during recent years and hold at the present time the contract for the supplies of meat to the garrisons at those places; if so, for how long they have held the contracts; whether they were the sole contractors for the supply of meat, or whether the War Office had, concurrently with the contracts with the firm, named other contracts for meat supplies; whether the Government has specified in the contracts that only British or British-Colonial meat should be supplied; whether he is in a position to state from what sources the contracting firms have obtained the meat that has been supplied under the contracts; and (2) if the Government has acquired the cold stores of Messrs. Wills and Company, Limited, at Gibraltar and Malta; and, if so, whether, in future, in view of the increasing power of the American trusts, he will specify in all contracts for the supply of meat to the garrisons of Gibraltar and Malta that only British and British-Colonial meat shall be supplied?


Messrs. Wills and Company held contracts for the supply of frozen meat to Gibraltar for some years before 1907 but not since. They have also held contracts for the supply of frozen meat to Malta since 1897. Concurrently with these contracts there have been contracts with other firms for the supply of fresh meat. Since 1907 the contracts for the supply of frozen meat have been free from any restrictions as to the source of supply, and it is not proposed to introduce such restrictions now. It is believed that the meat has been mainly drawn from Australia and New Zealand. The fresh meat is imported from Europe and Morocco. The frozen meat store at Gibraltar was built by the Government; that at Malta was built by the Wills Malta Cold Stores Company, Limited, and will shortly be acquired by the Government.