HC Deb 27 November 1946 vol 430 cc1587-8
14. Colonel Gomme-Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for Air why A.M.O. N.933/1946, dated 7th November, makes a special recommendation that tenders should be called for from local Co-operative societies; and whether it is the policy of His Majesty's Government to advance the claims of specific trading concerns.

Mr. de Freitas

This order instructs units to make every effort to obtain competitive tenders for funeral services. Co-operative societies were mentioned so as to widen the field of tendering, since many units did not appear to know that they carry out these services. The answer to the second part of the question is No, Sir.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

May I ask the Minister why, when competitive tenders are called for, he recommends Co-operative societies which apparently are so un businesslike that they are not likely to submit tenders, and does he intend to recommend the Army and Navy Stores, Harrods, and similar concerns in the same way?

Mr. de Freitas

The point is that these are local contracts. I should have thought that the hon. and gallant Gentleman would have been delighted to learn that we are widening the field for tendering and getting bigger and better and fuller competition.