HC Deb 16 February 1915 vol 69 cc1002-3
22. Mr. WATT

asked what were or are: the terms of contract with Messrs. Glanfield and Sons, of London, whereby they order and pass all clothing for the War Office, as to payment; are they paid on commission which is a fixed percentage, or are they paid a set price by the War Office for the various articles of clothing; and are they allowed to purchase these at the lowest possible figures from sub-contractors?


Messrs. Glanfield and Company, who are contractors for part of the clothing required by the War Department, are paid an agreed price for uniforms and for greatcoats, and make their own arrangements with sub-contractors, subject to the inclusion in all sub-contracts of the Fair-Wages Clause. They are responsible to the Department for the due observance of this Clause by all their sub-contractors. The firm employ their own inspectors and viewers for their own purposes, but all clothing supplied through them is inspected and passed by the War Office in the usual way.

23. Mr. WATT

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that some of the sub-contractors to Messrs. Glanfield and Sons are kept out of their full payments for clothes for the War Office for months at a time, only 15 per cent. of the invoice prices being paid at the due date, necessitating in many instances recourse to the sub-contractors' bankers for loans on which interest has to be paid; and, if so, will he say whether this system is in accordance with the War Office intentions?


Messrs. R. Glanfield and Company supply the cloth which their subcontractors make up. The sub-contractors do not pay cash for the cloth, but as a matter of account its value is recovered by deducting 85 per cent. of the invoice price of clothing delivered, leaving 15 per cent. to be paid to the sub-contractor. This is in accordance, with the system adopted in the case of direct War Office contracts for clothing, and is found to work satisfactorily. I understand that payment is made by Messrs. Glanfield as nearly as possible fourteen days after receipt of invoice, and that all January accounts have now been paid.


Are we to understand that the delays in payment for clothing supplied to the War Office are due to the contractors or to the War Office, or both?


There is no evidence of any delay so far. We have paid the January bills already.