§ Mr. Rees-Davies
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) why Philips Electrical Company of Holland received the contract to provide closed circuit television for Wormwood Scrubs Prison when British companies with maintenance schemes not requiring foreign labour are equally available to meet the contract;
(2) whether any tender was put out in customary fashion to manufacturers of closed circuit equipment to tender for the provision of closed circuit television for Wormwood Scrubs Prison;
(3) whether he will give an assurance that in future British manufacturers will be given an opportunity to tender and receive contracts for the supply of closed circuit equipment and other equipment relating to crime prevention; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins
The Wormwood Scrubs contract was awarded to a British company in the Philips group because there are only two firms in this country with the necessary resources and the other firm, which is entirely British owned, was being awarded the Wakefield contract. Competitive tenders were not invited because neither firm would have been capable of undertaking and completing both jobs quickly enough. It is my intention that, in accordance with normal practice, tenders should in future be invited whenever possible. For the most part equipment of British manufacture has been used in the Wormwood Scrubs scheme, and there is no question of it being maintained by foreign labour.