38. Mr. C. I. Orr-Ewing
asked the Secretary of State for Air whether a tender was put out before the contract was let to fly aircraft for Army cooperation work in the Manchester area and how long does the existing contract, let to a Liverpool firm, run.
§ Mr. A. Henderson
Competitive tenders were invited for Army Cooperation flying in a number of areas in February, 1949. The firm which secured the contract in the Manchester area terminated the engagement in March, 1950. Fresh tendering was not considered to be justified, and the contract was awarded to the second lowest firm in the original tendering. The present contract expires on 31st March, 1951.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are three charter firms in Manchester, and that they did not know of this tender having been put out? It seems a little unreasonable to import aircraft from Liverpool without the knowledge of the local Manchester firms.
§ Mr. Henderson
I have no doubt that the three firms had an opportunity of tendering in March, 1949.