HC Deb 07 February 1939 vol 343 c754W
Sir A. Russell

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that his contracts department have, during the last year, made a practice of inviting firms to tender for the supply of ammunition boxes, mines, and other equipment in such small and uneven quantities that it is impossible for such firms to quote a competitive price, as in many instances the cost of providing the tools for the job is prohibitive; what is the object of issuing such invitations as the quotations cannot either provide a check on prices or result in the placing of orders which would afford the firms an opportunity of making themselves ready for a national emergency; and will he consider altering this system?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

There is ample capacity for manufacturing ammunition boxes and kindred stores, and competition in quoting for the orders is very keen. It has not been found that the cost of providing tools has prevented firms from quoting successfully. At times the date by which the stores are required makes it necessary to divide the orders among several firms in order to secure the necessary delivery.

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