HC Deb 27 November 1919 vol 121 cc1924-5W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions whether a certain trader in London bought from the Government in 1918 5,000 overcoats at 4s. 6d. each; whether 1,000 only were taken from the Government premises; and whether the remainder were resold to the Government for 24s. 6d. each?


I have no knowledge of any such transaction as that referred to by my hon. Friend, but if he will be good enough to furnish me with sufficient particulars, I shall be glad to make inquiries.


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions whether the Government has a limited number of contractors on their list whom they communicate with when they have any articles to dispose of, requesting them to tender for same; and, if so, what steps are to be taken, and what qualifications are required to secure a place on that list?


The Disposal Board sell surplus stores and property either by auction, by public tender, or by private treaty. In all cases the materials are advertised widely, both in the public Press and in the Board's official organ, "Surplus," as being available for disposal. It is not the practice of the Disposal Board to limit invitations to tender to particular contractors.

Lieut.-Colonel WILLEY

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions if, in view of the success which has attended the institution of disposal by retail at stores throughout the United States, under the direction of the Quartermaster-General of the United States Government, of surplus stores, including food and clothing, any reconsideration is being given to previous decisions, with a view to instituting similar procedure for retail disposal in this country?


I have no official information of the arrangements in the United States to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers, but; I am making inquiries with regard to the matter. The question of retail selling has been very fully considered on several occasions by the Disposal Board, and in view of the necessity for securing rapid disposal, and keeping the staff down to a minimum, it has not been found practicable.