§ MR. BRANCH
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War at what date the negotiations for the transfer of Sparkbrook to a private firm were commenced, when wore they completed, and when was the promise made to give them 25 per cent, of the orders placed to the private trade; and whether there is any promise or intention to give this company orders beyond the next three financial years.
§ MR. BUCHANAN
The negotiations were commenced on November 1st, 1905, and the agreement with the purchasers was signed on June 8th, 1906. The promise to give thorn 25 per cent, of the trade orders for three years forms part of the second Schedule to the agreement. There is no promise to give the purchasers any special proportion of the orders beyond the next three years, and it is impossible to make any prophecy as to the probable allocation of orders when that period is completed.