To ask the Secretary of State for War whether he will state the system adopted by the War Office in arranging freight for the conveyance of Government stores and material to South Africa; whether the War Office acts through the Admiralty; if so, whether the Admiralty books directly with the steam ship lines, or through a broker or agent; whether, if so, the broker or agent invites tenders from all sources, and accepts the lowest tender.
(Answered by Mr. Arnold-Forster.) The arrangements for the conveyance of Government stores to South Africa or elsewhere are made by the Admiralty, who employ for this purpose a shipping agent under the direction of the Director of Transports. Tenders are invited by advertising the Government requirements at the Shipping Exchange, the office of the Admiralty agent, and at the Baltic when necessary, and the offer which is considered most advantageous is accepted.