§ 65. Mr. Hannan
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that the British Carpet Federation has recently forced a Glasgow wholesaler to break a contract for the supply of rugs to the Western Regional Hospitals Board on the ground that wholesalers must only supply traders, and that the Board is not a trader; whether rugs are supplied on wholesale or on retail terms to his Department, and to other authorities under his control; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure the provision of rugs as cheaply as possible for the public service in hospitals and elsewhere.
§ Mr. J. Stuart
Yes. The firm concerned was informed by the Regional Hospital Board that it would have to indemnify it in respect of any additional expenditure to which it might be put as a result of non-fulfilment of the contract. I am not aware of any similar difficulty elsewhere. Rugs required for the hospital service are normally purchased on the basis of competitive tenders, the price to be paid being fixed by the contract and not by reference to wholesale or retail pricing. Supplies for services directly under the control of the Scottish Departments are obtained through the Ministry of Works.