HC Deb 27 October 1919 vol 120 cc259-60
35. Captain BOWYER

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions whether it is necessary that Army clothing sold under the Disposal Board should always be sold in large quantities; whether he has considered the possibility of selling such clothing in small lots which could be purchased by ex-Service men's organisations, in turn to be delivered to branches of the organisations which are prepared to take them; and whether, in view of the great benefit to ex-Service men to be derived from this system, he will take steps to institute it at the forthcoming sales?


It has been, and will continue to be, the practice of the Disposal Board to offer small lots of clothing and similar stores for sale, whether by auction or by tender. In a recent advertisement, dealing with the disposal of 5,750,000 yards of cloth of various descriptions, it was announced that tenders for five pieces and upwards would be considered. The present arrangements seem to offer every opportunity to ex-Service men's organisations, such as those referred to in my hon. and gallant Friend's question, to obtain what they require.

36. Major O'NEILL

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions whether he can arrange for sales of Government stores to be held in the smaller country towns, so as to enable the rural population to obtain such stores direct instead of through intermediate purchasers, to whom they often have to pay a large profit?


Sales of surplus Government stores are being held in all parts of the country at or as near as possible to the places where the material is stored. All sales are extensively advertised and are so arranged as to ensure, so far as possible, that all classes of prospective purchasers may have an opportunity of buying.


Is it not a fact that there are practically no towns with populations of from 5,000 to 10,000 where these sales are being held?


I should not think so, but if my hon. and gallant Friend will see a copy of the circular which gives full particulars of all the sales he will see how very widespread they are. If he will call my attention to any place where a sale might be held with advantage, I shall be glad to consider it.

40. Major GREAME

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions, whether he will consider the advisability of selling stocks of clothing and clothing material released by the War Office and other Departments by public auction rather than by tender?


Very large quantities of clothing are in fact disposed of by auction throughout the country from time to time. It would not be in the public interest to exclude sales by tender. Apart from other considerations, the experience of the Disposal Board shows that sales by tender attract a larger public and afford wider opportunities for purchase.

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