HC Deb 31 January 1940 vol 356 cc1145-6
63. Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Minister of Supply how many large firms hold building contracts from the Government; how many of those firms have such contracts in Scotland and, of these firms, how many have their headquarters in Scotland; and whether he will consider, with regard to such building operations in Scotland, the adoption of normal Scottish procedure whereby a Scottish architect is put in charge of the whole job and contracts are placed with individual firms for the various types of work included in the job?

Colonel Llewellin

My right hon. Friend is not responsible for Government building contracts generally. The Ministry of Supply has however substantial needs for new factories and 37 large firms at present hold building contracts placed by or on behalf of the Ministry. Twelve of these contracts are for work in Scotland and 10 of this number are held by Scottish firms. With regard to the last part of the Question, tenders for these contracts were called for from firms in Great Britain as a whole, and the procedure adopted had therefore to be that which obtains generally throughout the country.

Mr. Gibson

Will the Minister bring to his right hon. Friend's notice the desirability of making use of the procedure in Scotland which is indicated in the Question, and which works in Scotland advantageously and economically from the point of view of getting the work done?

Colonel Llewellin

As I understand the suggestion, it is that a Scottish architect should have power to supervise the work. A large part of our factory building programme is done for us by the Office of Works, who have a very efficient staff. In regard to other cases the designs are done in our own building department. I am afraid that there is no place in that scheme of things where an outside architect can be fitted in.