HC Deb 04 March 1964 vol 690 cc1285-6
14. Mr. Tomney

asked the Secretary of State for War what contracts have been awarded by his Department to Messrs. Brocks Crystal Palace Fireworks Ltd.

Mr. Kirk

Two contracts have been placed with this firm since November, 1959, when the responsibility for the purchase of pyrotechnics was taken over from the former Ministry of Supply.

Mr. Tomney

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply. Is he aware of the deplorable working conditions and wages paid by this company, especially to young workers who in this part of Norfolk have difficulty obtaining employment elsewhere? Is he aware that these workers work long hours and are represented by the National Union of General and Municipal Workers, but that the management has consistently refused to discuss these matters? In view of the fair wages clause which operates in all Government contracts, will the hon. Gentleman consult other Service Ministers to see what methods will be used in future in the placing of contracts with this company?

Mr. Kirk

This company is one of a number asked to tender. It has had two contracts since 1959, but I will look into the point about the fair wages clause which the hon. Gentleman has mentioned.