§ 18. Mr. McCann
asked the Secretary of State for War if he will allow Royal Ordnance factories to tender in open competition with private firms for articles which they are equipped to produce.
§ Mr. McCann
Is the Minister aware that an order for rocket motor tubes has been transferred from the Royal Ordnance Factory at Patricroft, to Bristol Aerojet Ltd., in spite of the fact that both management and men at Patricroft are convinced that they were doing the job more cheaply? How does he line this fact up with the point about a preferred source of supply, and justify this action?
§ Mr. Kirk
I am aware of this point. This was a decision made by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Aviation. He is responsible, and not I. But the reason for the decision was explained in the reply which my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aviation made to the hon. Member for Salford, West (Mr. C. Royle) on 15th January of this year.
§ Mr. McCann
That reply said that the reason was that Bristol Aerojet Ltd. was doing research and development work as well. Is the Minister aware that the R.P.E. at Westcott and I.M.I. at Kidderminster are also engaged in the same kind of research and development work as Bristol Aerojet Ltd. Could not they have worked in conjunction with the R.O.F. Patricroft so that we could have got a real bargain for the country?