HC Deb 28 March 1950 vol 473 cc158-9
5. Mr. McKie

asked the Secretary of State for War why the contracts for the supply of bread to Cairnryan and Wig Bay camps, near Stranraer, are to be given to an Ayr firm as from 1st April, and if he will cancel this arrangement and give the contracts to the Stranraer firms as previously done, thus maintaining the principle that such camps should be locally supplied.

Mr. Strachey

The local competition for contracts for the supply of bread to Cairnryan and Wig Bay camps is inadequate, and contractors outside the immediate area were accordingly invited to tender. The contract was awarded to the lowest tenderer. There are no grounds for awarding contracts to local firms in such circumstances at additional expense to public funds.

Mr. McKie

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this decision will give great dissatisfaction in the area, especially to the firms who have been supplying these camps with bread for some time? Will he, at any rate, allow them to have an allocation to supply bread even if they are unable to supply the whole amount?

Mr. Strachey

I cannot understand the contention that a Minister should not give the contract to the lowest tenderer.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

In disputing this monstrous suggestion of my hon. Friend, was not this contract given because the firm is more competent to carry it out satisfactorily?