§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the total number of items and the value of the service uniforms for which contracts to purchase were placed in the last year for which figures are available; if he will give a breakdown of those figures according to whether the product was(a) made and finished in the United Kingdom from fabric produced in the United Kingdom, (b) made and finished in the United Kingdom from imported fabric and (c) finished in the United Kingdom but made abroad; and if he will make a statement of his purchasing policy in such matters.
§ Mr. Aitken
Contracts to the value of £89.9 million have been placed for service uniforms in the past year. These contracts covered some 700 individual items.
It is our policy to seek the best value for money when purchasing uniforms. We therefore pursue open competition and no restrictions are imposed on grounds of nationality or origin of supplies. Because of the large number of contractors and sub-contractors involved, it would not be practicable to maintain records of the origin of the materials used in uniforms.