asked the Minister of Supply the number of small firms which have offered collaboration in the war effort but whose offers have not been accepted in the last 12 months; and whether he is satisfied that the maximum of such collaboration is now being arranged?
§ Sir A. Duncan
I regret that, so far as the Ministry of Supply is concerned, there are no statistics available to give the number required. Whenever a small310W firm offers capacity to this Ministry its suitability either for direct contracts or sub-contracts is carefully considered. In the majority of cases the capacity is found to be more suitable for sub-contracts, and the offer is referred to the appropriate Area Officer of the Ministry, who then makes every endeavour to help the firm to obtain sub-contracting work. I should add that where an offer of capacity is received which is more appropriate to another Supply Department, machinery is available for referring it to the appropriate Area Board, on which the other Departments are represented.