§ 28. Mr. Peyton
asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if he will give general instructions to his Department to settle debts as promptly as possible, and, in particular, to pay forthwith the balance owed to Messrs. F. R. Bartlett, of Yeovil, which has been outstanding for an excessive length of time.
§ Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing
I can assure my hon. Friend that we always do our best to pay contractors' bills promptly.
438 I assume that the second part of the Question refers to Messrs. Bartlett's contract for twelve flats at Ilchester. Apart from the sum of £3 there is no balance owed under this contract itself. Messrs. Bartlett have claimed for extra expenses but these are not considered to be an Admiralty liability and their claims have been rejected.
§ Mr. Peyton
Is my hon. Friend aware that in some respects his information conflicts with information which I have? Will he appoint an official of his Department, with adequate authority to make a decision, to see this firm and to get the thing settled? For far too long letters have gone unanswered. They have been written to Yeovil and then been referred to Devonport, and from Devonport have been referred to Portland, and from Portland to Plymouth. This sort of thing is really very bad, and it is not the first time that this firm has had this unhappy experience.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
My noble Friend and I are just as anxious as the hon. Gentleman to get the matter settled. Perhaps he could come to see us and meet our experts and try to get it settled once for all.