§ MR. HANBURY (Preston)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he can state the names or the number of Inspectors or other officials charged with the duty of seeing that contractors who are bound by their contracts to manufacture upon their own premises, and not to sub-let their contracts, observe that portion of the contract; whether, in all recent contracts and orders for valises and mess tin covers, the factory clause has been insisted on, and what penalty has been inserted for breaking it; and whether he is aware that a large part of the work in connection with these contracts is still being done by a firm notorious for the bad material and work it supplied when itself allowed to contract?
§ MR. E. STANHOPE
No special officials have been appointed to inspect contractors. The duty of watching them has been intrusted to the Director of Contracts, who has personally inspected all the accoutrement factories in London. Some of them have also been visited by the Superintendent of Inspectors of General Stores, and it is intended to make periodical inspections in the future. Clothing factories are to be visited by officers from the Clothing Department at Pimlico from time to time. In contracts for valises the factory clause has been insisted on. In that for mess tin covers it was specially waived to enable the hands who have made them for years to continue the work. In this case the workers have been visited in their own homes to ascertain that they were paid directly by the contractor, and that they received the proper rate of wages. As regards the allegation made in the last paragraph of my hon. Friend's question, I can only say that I have no such information.