HC Deb 30 July 1956 vol 557 cc916-8
50. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Minister of Health whether British firms were invited to tender for the supply of 21,390 rear lamps for invalid cars; and why German lamps or parts of lamps are being issued.

46. Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Health if he will make a statement on his policy of distributing free of charge to war disabled persons red rear lights for their invalid tricycles; and why, in view of the need to conserve foreign currency, these were purchased from Germany.

51. Mr. G. Darling

asked the Minister of Health why he is supplying lamps made in Germany to be fitted to invalids' motor chairs to conform with the new lighting regulations.

Mr. Turton

Four British firms were invited to quote on equal terms for rear lamps to be fitted to motor cars and power-propelled tricycles on loan to disabled persons. The lowest satisfactory quotations were accepted. I understand that the lamps supplied are imported by the contractor from Germany under open general licence.

Mr. Hynd

Were the four firms selected firms or was the tender advertised? Is any precaution taken to ensure that British materials are used in a case like this?

Mr. Turton

The four firms, who were invited, were the four leading firms who would be likely to provide adequate lamps to be fitted to the tricycles. In fact, these lamps are already fitted to the Harper tricycle, and have been for many years.

Mr. K. Thompson

Will my right hon. Friend inform the House whether one of the factors taken into consideration in deciding where the contract should go was the sense of outrage which some of these men feel at bearing the "Made in Germany" mark before them, when they lost their limbs fighting against the Germans?

Mr. Turton

The primary consideration was whether these lamps and fittings would suit the tricycles. In fact, these were the most suitable lamps for the purpose, and they have been used for many years on Harper tricycles.

Mr. Darling

Did the four tenders from British firms all quote the same price? Did the tender which was accepted indicate that the lamps would not be made in this country?

Mr. Turton

The four tenders did not all ask the same price. This was, as I said, the lowest satisfactory quotation. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would put the second question down.

Mr. Darling

But this Question has been on the Paper for some time. Surely the Minister should know whether the tenders indicated whether or not the lamps would be manufactured in Germany or by the firms which submitted the tenders?

Mr. Turton

It was certainly known before the tenders were accepted that the lamps were German lamps.

Mr. H. Morrison

Could the right hon. Gentleman really not have got British lamps for this purpose? Having regard to the special circumstances pertaining to the use of these lamps, would it not have been worth while going out of his way to get British lamps for this purpose?

Mr. Turton

The four firms asked to tender were Joseph Lucas, Ltd., Remax, Ltd., Flexible Lamps, Ltd., and A. C. Withnell, Ltd., which are four of the leading firms in this business, and we had to accept the lowest satisfactory tender.

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