§ 56. Mr. Thorne
asked the Minister of Health whether he can give the House any information connected with the nine tenders for a contract for £16,099 for the Middlesex County Council, all of which tenders were identical in amount; whether he has received any information from the chief clerk to the Middlesex County Council about the matter; and whether he intends taking any action?
§ Sir K. Wood
In connection with an application for sanction to the raising of a loan to defray the cost of certain works at the Central Middlesex County Hospital of the Middlesex County Council, a list of tenders obtained by the council has recently been submitted to me by official letter from the clerk of the council. The list shows 11 tenders in all, of which nine were of the amount mentioned in the question. I am asking the council for their observations on the matter.
§ Mr. Thorne
I take it that the Minister knows about several other cases. Is he aware that on a recent occasion the Hertfordshire County Council received six tenders which were exactly the same to a farthing?
§ Sir Percy Harris
Does not this suggest something like conspiracy on the part of contractors to exploit local authorities in their own interest?
§ Mr. R. C. Morrison
Instead of asking for the observations of the county council would it not be better that they should ask the right hon. Gentleman for his observations?