HC Deb 09 April 1940 vol 359 cc491-2W
Mr. A. Edwards

asked the. Minister of Supply whether all purchases in the United States of America, on behalf of the British Government, are made through the British Supply Board; and whether he will state the reasons for any exceptions; and whether all purchases on behalf of private companies can in future be placed through the one channel provided by the Supply Board?

Mr. Burgin

The British Supply Board is concerned mainly with the purchase of munitions, and, while arrangements are in existence to keep it fully informed as to other purchases on Government account, it is considered unnecessary to extend its operations to other fields of supply where the need is met adequately in other ways. In the case of food supplies, purchases are being made through the machinery of the Ministry of Food, and in the case of other commodities, especially raw materials, ordinary trade channels have been used. To extend the operations of the Supply Board to cover purchases in the United States on behalf of private companies would militate against the usefulness of the Board for the purposes for which it was established.