HC Deb 13 July 1932 vol 268 cc1276-7
14. Commander MARSDEN

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the trial contract for candles placed in April last with the Co-operative Wholesale Society is being satisfactorily fulfilled; and whether the Admiralty propose to renew the contract?


It is too early to say whether this trial contract is being satisfactorily fulfilled, as no quantities have yet been demanded by the establishments at which deliveries are to be made. The placing of a further order with the society will depend upon the prices quoted and upon whether deliveries under the trial order are satisfactory. I regret that this trial contract was inadvertently omitted from the reply given to the hon. and gallant Member on the 29th June last.


Is there any real reason why the Co-operative Wholesale Society should not have these contracts?


I think they have just the same opportunities as others.


In view of the fact that the profits of the Co-operative Wholesale Society are not subject to taxation, will the hon. Gentleman transfer this contract to some firm which pays its fair share of direct taxation?

Lieut.-Colonel WATTS-MORGAN

Is the hon. Member aware that in all contracts the stipulation is made that the lowest tender will be accepted, and has not the Co-operative Society in this case complied with that condition?


I can hardly say that the lowest tender must necessarily always be accepted; every factor has to be taken into consideration.


Would it not be true to say that the conditions set out by the hon. Gentleman are simply the conditions set out when he asks for tenders from any other organisation, and is he not rather surprised to hear such questions put about a people's organisation which is making an honest effort to do business?