§ LORD NEWTON rose to ask His Majesty's Government whether any general order has 186 yet been issued to the Army prohibiting the employment of Liptons, Limited, as contractors. The noble Lord said: In asking this Question I do not wish to imply any distrust whatever of His Majesty's Government, but rumours have reached me that no instructions have been received by various regiments. Therefore I put the Question in order to remove any misapprehensions on the subject. But as we are upon this subject, I should like to ask the noble Lord who is going to reply whether the prohibition which refers to the Army with regard to this firm applies also in the case of the Navy.
§ LORD WIMBORNE
My Lords, in the absence of my noble friend who represents the War Office I hope the noble Lord will take such information as I am able to give him en the subject. I understand that the sequence of events was that on June 15 the War Office addressed a letter to the General Officers Commanding-in-Chief of all the districts, intimating that no contracts were under any circumstances to be entered into with the firm of Liptons, Limited, and steps were to be taken for all contracts now held by this firm to be terminated as soon as possible, but that where any hardship or inconvenience to the troops might be caused thereby, Commanding Officers were to use their discretion as to the date of termination. On July 6, in answer to a Question addressed to him by the noble Lord, Lord Lucas gave the substance of that letter. On July 24 the War Office addressed another letter to the General Officers Commanding in all the districts and requested to be informed whether the Order had been communicated to all concerned. The War Office asked for a report on that point to be furnished to them by July 27, and I am given to understand that all eight districts answered in the affirmative. I am afraid I am not able to tell the noble Lord whether the prohibition applies also to naval contracts. But as far as the Army is concerned, I think he may take the reply to his Question as being in the affirmative.
§ House adjourned at half-past Six o'clock, till To-morrow, half-past Ten o'clock.