HC Deb 02 April 1940 vol 359 cc13-4
50. Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction among Scottish printers regarding the small proportion of Government printing allotted to them; that, for large orders, Scottish printers are asked to quote on a basis of delivery in London, whereas distribution of the printed matter, namely coupon books, takes place in Scotland; and whether, in the interests both of Scottish printers and the nation's finances, he will arrange for alternative quotations for delivery either in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Captain Crookshank)

As the answer is rather long I will, with the hon. and learned Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

Scottish printers are given the opportunity to tender for Government printing work and specimens of the work required are exhibited in Edinburgh for inspection, as explained in the answer which I gave the hon. and learned Member on the 24th January. My information is however that but few Scottish printers inspect the specimens or send in quotations. Tenders for a large general distribution are usually invited on the basis of delivery in London, but the tenderers are asked to state the rate allowed for carriage, so that in considering the quotations the Department may allow for deliveries required elsewhere than in London, where the distribution arrangements permit of provision being made for local deliveries. I may add as regards the particular instance of coupon books to which the hon. and learned Member refers, that the production of food ration books requires special machinery and is unsuitable for general tender, and that whilst Scottish printers have been invited to tender for bulk supplies of petrol coupons, very few of them have submitted tenders. In a recent series of 36 tenders, for example, quotations were received from only one Scottish firm.