HC Deb 21 February 1939 vol 344 cc220-1W
Mr. Boothby

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that the contract for dredging the Admiralty Harbour, Dover, has been awarded to a company which, although registered in Great Britain, is Dutch-owned and controlled; and whether the matter can be reconsidered with a view to awarding this important contract to a British firm?

Mr. Shakespeare

A contract for dredging the Outer Harbour at Dover has, with the concurrence of the Admiralty, been let by the Dover Harbour Board, who are acting for the Department in the matter, to a British registered company which is Dutch controlled. Competitive tenders were obtained from six firms. Two are understood to be under entirely British ownership and control, but the acceptance of the tender of either of these would have involved an expenditure of practically double the sum for which the firm whose tender was accepted are doing the work. Moreover the time quoted by them for the completion of the work, which is urgently required, was considerably longer. In the circumstances stated, the reply to the second part of the question must be in the negative.