§ Mr. Collins
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the practice of His Majesty's Government in the choice of source of supply, as between dollar countries, in Government purchases of food and raw materials.297W
§ Sir S. Cripps
We naturally make our dollars go as far as we can, by buying on the most favourable possible terms. As between sources which cost us dollars, we buy entirely according to commercial considerations, taking into account price, quality, continuity of supply, reliability of suppliers, delivery conditions, and so on. It is because we want to make our dollars go as far as we can that we are now inviting suppliers in the various dollar countries, where needed supplies are available, to bid competitively for our trade. This applies to most of our dollar imports except, of course, such items as wheat which are covered for some months ahead by existing contracts. Our policy in this matter is of course in conformity with the principles of the Havana Charter for the International Trade Organisation and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.