HC Deb 25 June 1953 vol 516 cc2071-2
4. Mr. Grimond

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a further statement on the allocation of contracts to British firms for the Chief Joseph Dam project.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Yes, Sir. I am glad to have this opportunity of congratulating the English Electric Company on securing the contract for the transformers worth some 1¾ million dollars for the Chief Joseph Dam project. The generator contract, worth some 4¼ million dollars, was awarded to an American company, the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, who reduced their original bid by over 600,000 dollars after they had been given a second opportunity to tender.

Mr. Grimond

While thanking the President of the Board of Trade for that answer, may I ask him if he does not agree that it is a remarkable tribute to the British engineering industry that in the face of world-wide competition and the competition of the main American firms this British firm succeeded in obtaining this contract?

Mr. G. R. Strauss

Can the President of the Board of Trade say whether the specification was exactly the same in the second tender, because if it was, then quite clearly the reduction by the Westinghouse Company was grossly unfair and contrary to normal good trade practice?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I would say that neither in the original specification nor in the second invitation were the quantities or weights of materials to be used specified, which was one of the excuses put forward for the second round of tenders.