§ 26. Mr. WATT
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that smaller engineers throughout the country, and especially in the West of Scotland, are suffering from unemployment in the face of the outcry for greater output of munitions of war; whether he is aware that this arises from the fact that his Department refuse to put these firms on their war list, notwithstanding that they have frequently done work by sub-contract for his Department and are known so to have done, and further from the fact that the War Office dislikes doing business with small firms; and whether he will take any action to remedy this?
In so far as there has been any reluctance to give direct contracts to the smaller firms, it has been due to considerations of efficiency and economy. Special measures are now being taken to organise more completely the whole manufacturing capacity of the country, and if my hon. Friend will furnish me with particulars of any firm capable and willing to do work for this Department, I shall be glad to see that they receive full consideration.