HC Deb 06 February 1956 vol 548 c1334
32. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will give a general direction to the National Coal Board, the British Electricity Authority, and the Gas Council to advertise publicly for tenders for all work they are letting out to contractors.

Mr. Aubrey Jones

No, Sir. The precise arrangements adopted by the nationalised industries under my jurisdiction in placing their widely differing types of contract are matters for the industries themselves to decide.

Mr. Johnson

Is not my right hon. Friend of the opinion that it is much more likely to lead to an agreement to quote the same price if only a limited number of firms are invited to tender for a project? Is he further aware that before nationalisation it was the practice of most electricity industries to advertise publicly for tenders, whereas the practice now is that only a few people are invited to tender?

Mr. Jones

That is a matter of day-today administration in which I consider it quite wrong for me to intervene unless there is very grave cause.

Mr. Shinwell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that if he adopts this practice and asks for tenders he will still get the same answer?

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