§ 38. Major LLEWELLIN
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that several companies and firms which have supplied material, specified to be manufactured by them in Air Ministry contracts, to a heating engineering firm now in liquidation, have been unable to receive payment for goods so supplied; whether the Air Ministry takes any steps to ascertain the financial stability of firms with which it makes contracts; and whether the Ministry intends to do anything to meet the accounts of such sub-contractors?
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
Yes, Sir, I am aware of the case to which, I think, the hon. and gallant Member is referring. The answer to the second part of this question is in the affirmative, but to the last part in the negative. Inquiries were made when the firm in question was placed on the Air Ministry list, but it would be impossible for the Air Ministry to guarantee the solvency of contractors in relation to the various sub-contractors with whom they may have dealings.
§ Major LLEWELLIN
If there is still money unpaid by the Air Ministry, will it be paid over to the sub-contractors and not direct to the contracting firm?
§ Mr. ALBERY
Does not the fact that a firm is contracting for the British Government naturally lead the sub-contractors to believe that it is solvent?