§ 50. Mr. Charles A. Howell
asked the Secretary of State for War what are the current prices being quoted to blind workshops for bedding repair contracts 159W by each Army command; and what representations have been received from organisations responsible for blind workers.
§ Mr. Profumo
It is not customary to disclose prices for Government contracts. We operate the special Government procedure under which "Priority Suppliers", such as blind workshops, are given an opportunity to requote at the lowest price bid if their tenders are not lowest in the first place.
Recently a very low price for bedding work was tendered in error by another supplier, and Northern Command offered the work at that price to the Birmingham blind workshops. As a result, I received representations from the hon. Members for Aston (Mr. J. Silverman) and Northfield (Mr. Chapman) on behalf of the Birmingham City Council and the workshops. The mistaken tender has since been withdrawn and we have made a new offer to the blind workshops. I hope that they will be able to accept it. I very much regret that this error occurred.