§ 53. Mr. Osborne
asked the Minister of Supply what proportion of the contracts placed by his Department are for firm prices, and what percentage have an escape or escalator clause or are on a cost-plus basis; and what action he is taking to end the system of buying without firm prices.
§ Mr. Erroll
The Department's policy is to make contracts at firm prices whenever practicable and to agree to materials or wages variation clauses only where these are justified by the circumstances. Some contracts, particularly those for research and development, have of necessity to be priced on ascertained costs, plus a fee fixed in relation to capital employed. It would take an unjustifiable amount of time to extract the information about the proportion of total contracts on each basis.