asked the Financial Secretary whether he is aware that, although large supplies of paper are manufactured for His Majesty's Stationery Office in Scotland, nevertheless the share of the Scottish printing industry in Government contracts is less than four per cent. of the total; and will he take appropriate steps to ensure more equitable treatment by arranging that future tenders for Government work should be on the basis of ex works, and thus help to check the very serious decline which is taking place in the Scottish printing industry?710W
§ Captain Crookshank
The share of the Scottish printing industry in Government contracts has been the subject of considerable attention. As stated in a reply to the hon. and learned Member for Greenock (Mr. R. Gibson) on 2nd April, 1940, tenderers for a large general distribution of printed material are asked to state the amount allowed for carriage, so that, in considering the quotations, the Department may allow for local deliveries where the distribution arrangements permit. It would not, however, be proper to incur additional expenditure and, in effect, to pass over the lowest tender by disregarding the cost of carriage entirely, as would be liable to result if tenders were invited on an ex-works basis, and I cannot see my way to adopt that suggestion.