HC Deb 14 May 1924 vol 173 cc1316-7
12. Lieut.-Colonel MEYLER

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether the Admiralty printing works at Cricklewood, on which large sums of public money have been expended, is producing work solely for Admiralty use; whether any portion of the work producer has been sold for use in the mercantile marine; and, if so, whether the Government will take steps to prevent such competition with private enterprise in the printing trade?


The Admiralty Chart Establishment, Cricklewood, produces Admiralty Charts both for His Majesty's ships and sale to the mercantile marine and public generally. A very small quantity of other lithographic printing is produced for other Government Departments where this can be economically undertaken without prejudice to Admiralty requirements. With regard to the last part of the question, I fail to see how the sale of Admiralty charts to the mercantile marine involves competition with private enterprise, since these charts are based on the results of surveys by His Majesty's ships and other hydrographic material accumulated by the Admiralty, and no private firm has the data from which to produce similar charts. If, however, the hon. and gallant Member is alluding to the general policy of the Government establishing its own factories for carrying out printing and other kindred processes, I would remind him that this question is at present under the consideration of a Committee presided over by the hon. and gallant Member for the Burton Division.