HC Deb 07 March 1955 vol 538 cc9-10W
80. Mr. Teeling

asked the Minister of Defence his policy concerning tenders by British firms for work to be done under the auspices of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation; what representatives we have on boards allocating such work; and what representations he made in the case which the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion, has sent him, where the British tender was the lowest, but the contract was allocated to an Italian firm.

Mr. H. Macmillan

It is Her Majesty's Government's policy to give every encouragement to British firms to tender for such work. Tenders are normally called for by the Government of the country in which the work is to be carried out: the placing of the contract is also the responsibility of that Government. If the Government consider it necessary to pass over the lowest tender, they refer the matter to a committee of the North Atlantic Council on which Her Majesty's Government are represented.

The particular case to which my hon. Friend refers was considered by this committee, and the United Kingdom representative gave the fullest support to the claims of the British firm. The committee decided, however, that, for reasons of continuity, it was desirable that the firm which had already acted as consultants at an earlier stage, should be awarded the contract.