§ Mr. FORREST
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions whether, prior to the sale of the 666 Thorneycroft lorries at Cologne to Messrs. Maudsley Motor Company for £400 each, the Treasury had received an authenticated offer for the whole of the lorries at the Aachener and Bickendorf aerodromes, including these lorries, at an all-round price of £425 each; and why the Thorneycroft lorries were sold at a lower rate?
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
The price of £400 each, at which the 666 Thorneycroft lorries at Cologne were sold to Messrs. Maudsley Motor Company, was the highest offer received for these vehicles. The lorries were soldin situ, the purchasers bearing ail expenses in connection with removal, custody, transport, etc. An offer was received through the Société Commerciale Franco-Britannique to purchase 1,626, including the Thorneycroft lorries, at an average of £375 per lorry, delivered f.o.b. Antwerp. The price offered in this case was obviously too low, and could not be accepted. After the Thorneycroft lorries had been sold a communication was received from Mr. Gaunter, of Messrs. Baxter & Gaunter, a firm who state that the Société Commercial Franco-Britannique constitute a branch of theirs, covering an offer from Mr. Williams, of A. L. Williams & Co. This offer was to purchase the Thorneycroft lorries at £425 each on condition that the firm should be permitted to take the remainder of the lorries at Cologne at a valuation. The terms of this offer was unacceptable to the Board. I may add that information having reached the Disposal Board that Mr. Gaunter had offered presents and advantages, including a case of whisky, to members of its staff, it was decided to have no further dealings with the firm of Baxter & Gaunter.