§ 27. Mr. HANNON
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, as representing the First Commissioner of Works whether he is aware that recent tenders by British contractors for copper and steel cooking utensils have been refused and the order given to a foreign firm; and, if so, whether he will explain why this course has been followed, in view of the injury caused to British contractors who are on the King's Roll by placing orders with their competitors abroad?
The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Lieut.-Colonel Sir Vivian Henderson)
I understand a small order was recently placed for copper and steel cooking utensils with a British firm who are on the King's Roll. The goods are, however, of French manufacture and were selected after careful inquiry as being the most suitable for the purpose for which they are required.
§ Mr. HANNON
Will the hon. and gallant Member tell the House that it is the policy of the First Commissioner 1505 of Works, generally speaking, to give preference to British produce in the giving of Government contracts?
§ Mr. W. THORNE
What is the good of the Government yapping about encouraging British trade, and then giving orders to foreigners?
Sir F. HALL
Are we to understand that these goods cannot be produced in this country? Is it some French speciality that cannot possibly be made here?
§ Sir V. HENDERSON
I have said that these cooking utensils were considered better than the English manufactures for the purpose for which they were required.
Sir F. HALL
Are we to understand that French goods are better than goods that can be manufactured in this country? Surely, that is wrong.