HC Deb 05 May 1915 vol 71 cc1089-90
1. Mr. WATT

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware of the difficulty experienced by firms in getting on to the Admiralty list, notwithstanding the fact, well known to his Department, that these same firms have done business for years by sub-contract with the Department; and will he take steps to remove the difficulty complained of?


I am not aware of the difficulty referred to in the first part of the question. If my hon. Friend will furnish the Admiralty with specific instances I will have inquiry made. There are many firms who are eligible as sub- contractors for local work whose circumstances do not admit of their being noted for direct orders, and it frequently occurs that firms do not wish to be so noted. Subject to these considerations it is the practice of the Department not to refuse admission to the list in the case of suitable firms. Inspections are dealt with as promptly as circumstances permit, and during the War we have endeavoured to utilise so far as possible the services of all likely firms.


Does the difficulty of getting on this list account, in the right hon. Gentleman's opinion, for the shortness of munitions?


No. We have widely extended our operations, but if my hon. Friend has any specific case perhaps he will let me know.