HC Deb 06 August 1940 vol 363 cc29-30
50. Mr. Thorne

asked the Minister without Portfolio whether the Government are taking steps to strengthen the British Purchasing Commission in the United States of America?

Mr. Greenwood

Yes, Sir. In consequence of the winding-up of the British Supply Board, Ottawa, certain members of the staff of the Board will be made available to the British Purchasing Commission. In addition, a number of experts on production, who are conversant with the various types of armament required, and include representatives of the War Office, are being sent out from this country.

Mr. Ammon

Is the Purchasing Commission strengthened sufficiently to secure that these people have powers to complete purchases without having to refer everything to London?

Mr. Greenwood

Most certainly.

Mr. Thorne

Do I understand from that answer that some of the Commissioners will have plenary powers?

Mr. Greenwood

The head of the British Purchasing Commission in America, Mr. Purvis, under authority from this country and under instructions given to him, has full power to complete purchases.

Mr. A. Edwards

Can the Minister say whether the Purchasing Commission still have to compete with various Government Departments and with private companies?

Mr. Greenwood

All our purchases are now being organised through the new North American Supply Committee.