HC Deb 21 April 1952 vol 499 cc14-5
25. Mr. Anthony Greenwood

asked the Minister of Supply on what basis defence contracts for textiles are being allocated by his Department.

Mr. Sandys

Defence contracts for textiles are normally allocated by competitive tender, subject to the special preference given to Development Areas.

However, in the case of the contracts for the additional £20 to £25 million worth of orders recently announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, invitations to tender will as far as possible be directed to areas which are most severely afflicted by the current recession. In the selection of these areas I am guided by the advice of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what proportion of those contracts will be going to wool and cotton respectively, and over how long a period the placing of the orders will occur, and can he give us an assurance that the interests of the smaller towns and smaller firms will not be overlooked in favour of their larger rivals?

Mr. Sandys

We certainly will not overlook the interests of the smaller towns and firms. I cannot give the hon. Gentleman at once the proportions for which he asks. We are placing the contracts as quickly as possible and have already placed some since the House rose for the Easter Recess.