§ LORD NEWTON rose to ask whether, in view of the statement made on behalf of His Majesty's Government in this House on July 27—that no new contracts under any circumstances were to be entered into with Liptons, Limited — there is any present intention of reinstating their name upon the list of firms eligible for Army contracts; and whether it is proposed to give early effect to the recommendations made in the Interim Report of the Committee on Garrison and Regimental Institutes.
§ The noble Lord said: My Lords, I have put this Question on the Paper in consequence of a circular of an extremely impudent nature to which my attention has been called and which has been sent to members of the House of Commons requesting them to use their influence to get this firm reinstated upon the War Office list and pointing out that there are many shareholders in every constituency. I do not imagine that the Government are likely to give way on this point, but I should like a re-affirmation of the statement which was made in this House towards the end of July last with regard to the cessation of the employment of this particular firm. No doubt it is highly distressing to the shareholders in Liptons, Limited, to see other large firms nothing considerable profits out of the war, but I hope that this feeling of disappointment is not likely to make any impression upon his Majesty's Government. I observed, somewhat to my surprise, that in the circular to which I have alluded it is stated that Liptons, Limited, are to-day serving the Admiralty and giving complete satisfaction. I asked some months ago whether this firm was employed by the Admiralty, and the noble Lord who replied to me stated that he was unable to give the necessary information. I do not know whether the standard of morality is lower in the Admiralty than it is in the War Office, but I should have thought that in view of the revelations which have taken place a Government Department would have been only too glad to cease dealing with this firm at the earliest opportunity.
§ EARL KITCHENER
My Lords, the answer to the first part of the noble Lord's Question is in the negative. As regards the recommendations made in the Interim Report of the Committee on Garrison and Regimental Institutes, that matter is under our consideration and will be dealt with, I hope, shortly.